Croatia is looking to add more than 50% of its current wind energy installed capacity under plans by Dutch consultancy Green Trust and German wind turbine manufacturer Enercon to develop the 425MW Lički Medvjed Lički Medvjed (425MW) OnshoreOtočac, Lika-Senj County, Croatia, Europe Click to see full details wind farm on a site in the mountainous area of Otočac.
Each developer owns a 50% stake in the project, with an element of local ownership also under consideration. No details of exactly how or in what percentage are available yet.
Construction of the wind farm will employ about 500 people, as well as provide opportunities for local suppliers and subcontractors. During its 30-year lifespan, the project is expected to employ more than 100 people on an ongoing basis.
Two layouts are being considered, according to the project website. The wind farm will either use 101 wind turbines of different power ratings and hub heights, or 92 of Enercon’s E160 and E136 turbines.
A spokesperson for the Green Trust told Windpower Monthly, however, that wind turbines of between 5MW and 8MW are being considered, which would mean no more than 85 units being installed.
Otočac is located in the Ličko-Senjska county, northern Croatia. The nearest villages to the planned wind farm are Dabar, Vrhovine and Doljani, all within three kilometres of the project.
After monitoring flora and fauna for two years, the developers are nearing completion of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the project. The Green Trust said it expects the EIA to be submitted to the relevant Croatian government department in the second quarter of 2022.
Under electricity market rules, the project must tender for energy approval, which the spokesperson said it expects to do “soon”.
A connection agreement to the electricity grid will also be required, in addition to location and construction permits, before the project can go ahead. The Green Trust said it was likely to file for grid connection later this year or early in 2023.
Construction is expected to start in 2026 and will take place in three stages, with the size of each stage to be decided during the environmental impact assessment process, the Green Trust spokesperson said. Commissioning is expected in 2028.
Capital investment in the wind farm is expected to amount to €500 million. It is understood that the developers will look to secure a premium in Croatia’s forthcoming capacity auctions, but the spokesperson said it was too early to comment on this aspect of the project.
Croatia currently has around 900MW of installed wind power capacity, according to Windpower Intelligence, the research and data division of Windpower Monthly.