21.11.2022 - Economy, Green technology

V. Zeps: “Port shall become a center of solar and hydrogen energy technologies”

The deadline for submitting applications for the open auction announced by the Freeport of Riga Authority for the right to rent the territory for the development of the solar energy park in Spilve meadows is over. 

It is planned to create the largest solar panel park in Latvia with a nominal capacity of at least 100MW and a planned electricity production of at least 100,000MWh per year in the territory of the Port of Riga. Several participants have applied for the auction, all of them being international companies or their representative offices in Latvia, which have already implemented large-scale solar parks in other parts of Europe*.

Viesturs Zeps, Chairman of the Freeport of Riga Board: “The solar park project’s implementation will foster our development in two directions – firstly, due to availability of green electricity, which can be used both by the port companies and other enterprises in the city, the port's infrastructure will become greener and more climate-neutral. Secondly, the development of the solar park and availability of green energy for the port companies will boost the development of other innovative alternative energy projects, including those related to the production, storage and use of hydrogen for the needs of the port and the city. Thirdly, which is no less important, such projects support progress towards achieving the goals of energy independence.”

The international auction of land lease rights for the development of the solar energy park will take place onsite on November 22, 2022, at the Freeport of Riga Authority; as a result, the most advantageous offer will be selected, and within 5 years one of the largest solar parks in the Baltics, a substation and a connection to the 110kV electricity transmission line in the city of Riga will be developed. Lease rights for the construction of a solar panel park will be auctioned for a total of 16 plots of land with a total area of 176.9 ha, on the condition that the construction of a solar panel park and the production of renewable electricity shall be carried out in the leased territory.

The term of the lease agreement is 45 years, and electricity production has to be started within 5 years from the conclusion of the lease agreement. It is expected that the agreement with the next developer of the solar park could be concluded by the end of this year - and the creation of the solar panel park will be the first essential step in the implementation of the ambitious Spilve Industrial Park project.

Following the decarbonization of the shipping industry and complying with the climate goals set by the European Commission, the Freeport of Riga is currently actively involved in various initiatives related to the development of local and cross-border hydrogen communities or valleys

“We have set a goal to take the lead in the application and piloting of hydrogen technologies, as well as in the implementation of viable solutions in the port of Riga, including the ones related to the provision of internal transport, the operation of locomotives or service ships, with the aim to ensure good conditions for the development of all port infrastructure capable of serving international ships powered both by the mentioned fuel and other alternative fuels in the future. This is the next step for the port of Riga to move towards the goal of becoming a technology innovation center - in other words, we are developing the new Spilve Industrial Park, where not only the production facilities and logistics infrastructure will be located, but also the development of smart technologies will be implemented,” emphasized V. Zeps.

It is expected that hydrogen will soon become one of the basic elements of the decarbonized economy. This field has gained special relevance in Europe and the European Union with the approval of the European Green Deal and the adoption of the European Union Hydrogen Strategy in July 2020. Due to the war launched by Russia in Ukraine, this issue has materialized as the RePowerEU plan, which aims to reduce the dependence of the European economy on Russian fossil fuel supplies, promoting the production of alternative fuels of European origin, energy efficiency and energy saving measures, along with significantly increased European produced and imported volumes of sustainable hydrogen.

Source: rop.lv. Photo: Shutterstock

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