Under the new agreement, the Neper Solar Park Incubator project will create an investment platform, which will aid in the development of what will become one of the world’s largest photovoltaic systems, if completed.
The project, on which work is scheduled to last for four years, is expected to be executed under a number of different phases. Firstly, Ivan Matejak, country manager for Serbia, Securum Equity Partners Europe SA tells pv magazine that over the next few weeks, sites suitable for photovoltaic installations will be identified. A key consideration, he says, will be their location with respect to Serbia’s power grid.
“We had specific meetings with main institutional stakeholders involved in the project from which emerged the common determination to identify and utilize only marginal areas (not for agriculture) to guarantee the minimal environmental impact,” Matejak explains. Once an appropriate location has been identified, the necessary permits and authorizations will then be sought.
In terms of equipment, the “world’s most important” solar panel and inverter manufacturers will be approached. Matejak says that the final choice of suppliers will be based on both price and the possibility that the components can be manufactured in Serbia, “to promote the local economy and to minimize the environmental impact of the logistics and transport of the materials.”
Project financing, which is expected to be around €2 billion, will be provided through the “Neper Fund”. Designed for international professionals and institutional investors, the fund means the project won’t require public incentives, says Matejak. According to a statement released by Securum, a 15 percent minimum annual return of investors will be guaranteed for 20 years.
Matejak adds, “The size of the project has been determined having in mind the necessity to pursue economy of scale in order to make the project fully self-sustainable without considering any form of public incentives to the sale price of the energy produced.”