Bulgaria curtails wind power

BULGARIA: The Bulgarian government has made good on threats to curtail power production from wind and solar plants.

Enel's 21MW Shabla wind farm in Bulgaria

The decision follows a warning in March by interim energy minister Asen Vasilev that around 40% of wind and solar plants could potentially be curtailed.

Vasilev claimed their failure to provide real-time data on production was threatening the stability of the system and made them non-compliant with the law.

According to the Bulgarian Wind Energy Association (BGWEA), the country's electricity system operator (ESO) has curtailed power from wind and solar facilities by 40% for the last four days between 10am and 5pm local time.

The details were revealed in an open letter demanding an immediate end to the curtailments from BGWEA executive director Sebastian Noethlichs to Vassilev.

Noethlichs pointed out that as an EU member, Bulgaria is subject to priority dispatch and guaranteed off-take requirements for renewable energy.

Yet, curtailment of wind and solar plants has occurred before that of other power sources, he said, and ESO's central dispatching unit has not even attempted to balance overall power production. Curtailments "at best amount to gross incompetence, if not criminal negligence", Noethlichs said.

He asked that the director of the ESO and management of the central dispatching unit be immediately relieved of their duties.