STA, 4 January 2020 - The Ajdovščina municipality in western Slovenia has set up the first community solar array for local electricity supply. Seven households are involved.
The pilot project by energy group Gen-I and the municipality uses the roof of a public facility, a primary school in the village of Budanje, to supply electricity to seven buildings.
"This is the first such community project. It allows people to come up with their own solar plant, not on their roofs, which perhaps they don't even have, but on the roof of a public facility," Gen-I director Robert Golob told the STA.
The company funded and implemented the project. Local residents were then offered to lease the solar modules from Gen-I.
"Today, the solar plant is rented out in its entirety to seven families, who will get their electricity at a significantly lower price for ten years compared to what they have been paying so far," Golob added.
The 55.68kW solar array is expected to generate more than 58,000 kWh of electricity per year.
Another solar plant is planned on the roof of the Ajdovščina community health centre, the municipality told the STA. The project will bring together a larger community, up to 30 users.
Gen-I has been discussing such community endeavours with a number of municipalities. The Ajdovščina project is a milestone that could serve as a model. According to Golob, there are a lot of roofs on public buildings in Slovenia that could be used this way.
For a long time it was only possible for individual households to build solar arrays, but a government decree adopted in mid-2019 made it possible to implement such community projects.