After Vjetroelektrarna Ljubac d.o.o. received the status of Authorised Producer on 4 April 2022, Petrol Group today officially launched its second wind farm – the Ljubac wind farm near Knin (Croatia) – which provides green energy for 30,000 average households. Nine wind turbines will annually generate around 96 GWh of electricity. This wind farm also marks the first Petrol project that was fully implemented without any financial support or grants. In total, the Petrol Group currently operates: 2 wind power plants, 30 small solar power plants and 6 small hydro power plants. The Petrol Group continues its efforts towards a sustainable energy transition in Croatia with an investment in three large solar power plants in the Knin area of Croatia. The solar power plants, with a total investment value estimated at EUR 17 million, will start producing electricity in early 2023.
By building its own production capacities for electricity generation from renewable energy sources (RES), the Petrol Group is pursuing its strategic orientation of becoming a visible regional provider of comprehensive energy and environmental solutions, and a partner in the development of the circular economy for transition to the low-carbon society. The Petrol Group sees great potential in wind energy and is planning, building and managing wind farms in locations where it is possible to exploit the wind potential in an economically efficient and environmentally friendly way.
The official commissioning of the Ljubac wind power plant represents an important milestone in the production of electricity from RES by the Petrol Group, which aims to become an integrated partner in the energy transition, also in Croatia. The Ljubac wind farm in Croatia, near Knin, was test commissioned by Petrol in July last year. This is its second wind farm, providing green energy to more than 30,000 average households. It is Petrol’s first project to generate electricity from RES without financial support or subsidies.
On 4 April 2022, Vjetroelektrarna Ljubac d.o.o. received the status of Authorised Producer, followed by the official opening of the Ljubac wind farm today, 10 May 2022. Petrol marked this milestone with a gala event opened by Nada Drobne Popovic, President of the Management Board of Petrol, and Boris Antolovic, President of the Management Board of Petrol d.o.o. Zagreb, and was attended by Ivo Milatic, State Secretary at the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of the Republic of Croatia, Marko Jelic, Mayor of Šibenik-Knin County, and other guests from decision-makers, business partners and the local community.
“Today’s event is a reminder of the current energy price hikes and the uncertain situation in the energy markets, which have been loudly reminding us of the need for action over the past year. We are already doing this in the Petrol Group: investments in the production of electricity from renewable energy sources are a tangible contribution of the Petrol Group to solving the current energy crisis and, at the same time, to the long-term strengthening of self-sufficiency and the energy transition of households, the economy and the country”, said Nada Drobne Popovic, President of the Management Board of Petrol d.d., at the opening ceremony, “Petrol is one of the largest energy companies in the region and one of the first to actively engage in the energy transition to a low-carbon society. The production of electricity from renewable sources is one of the key activities for the future development of the Petrol Group into a modern sustainable energy company . Most of our investments in renewable energy to date have been focused on the Croatian market, which is of strategic importance for the Petrol Group. On the occasion of today’s event, I would like to especially thank the local community, professional institutions and decision makers for their partnership and support in the Ljubac project. We are also pleased to see the interest of local communities and businesses in Croatia in energy efficiency projects, which also make an important contribution to the energy transition. We believe that in such projects we share a common interest in protecting our planet and a green future. At Petrol Group, we are already looking forward to investing in three solar power plants in the Knin area, from which we can expect green electricity early next year.”
The Ljubac wind farm consists of nine Nordex wind turbines with a rated capacity of 3.6 MW, with a total installed capacity of 32.4 MW. The expected annual production is 96 GWh of electricity, enough to power 30,000 average households. The start of the Ljubac Wind Farm’s operation means that Petrol now has two wind farms in Croatia. In 2017, the company established the Glunaca Wind Farm, near Šibenik, which consists of nine wind turbines, each boasting 2.3 MW of rated power, which provide enough energy for 15,000 average households. Together with Ljubac WF, they now generate enough electricity to supply as many as 45,000 average households.
The Petrol Group has a long-standing presence in the field of renewable electricity production. In total, the Petrol Group currently operates: 2 wind power plants, 30 small solar power plants and 6 small hydro power plants. Petrol is implementing most of its projects in the field of energy generation from renewable energy sources in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia, which boast significant wind, sun, and water potential. At the end of 2021, the Petrol Group had a total installed capacity for renewable electricity generation of 68.9 MW. By 2025, the Petrol Group aims to exceed an installed capacity of 160 MW by developing and implementing projects for the generation of electricity from RES, both for its own needs as well as for selling electricity. The commitment to the green energy transition means that the Petrol Group will allocate 35% of its total investment potential of EUR 698 million in the strategic period 2021–2025 to investments in the energy transition, the largest part of which will be for investments in renewable energy generation.
An important next step in Petrol’s energy transition is the investment in solar power plants in the Knin area in Croatia. These are three large solar power plants with a total installed capacity of 22 MW and with an expected electricity production of 29 GWh. The solar power plants, with a total investment value estimated at EUR 17 million, will start producing electricity in early 2023. By investing in the installation of three solar power plants in the Knin area, the Petrol Group is responding to the increased demand for electricity, while at the same time following through on Petrol’s commitment to transition to a low-carbon society and a green future, and to support businesses, local communities and households in their energy transition.
The Petrol Group also supports the energy transition through energy efficiency projects. In Croatia, it has already carried out a number of such projects for local communities, including: renovation of public lighting (Kraljevica, Oriovac, Podbablje, Pušca, etc.), optimisation of drinking water supply (Cakovec, Medimurje Waters, Slavonski Brod) and optimisation of district heating (Zagreb, Sisak, Osijek). In addition, the Petrol Group is active in energy projects in Croatian industry, with a focus on photovoltaics. Last but not least, the continuous expansion of the electric charging infrastructure is contributing to the energy transition. The Petrol Group is present with charging infrastructure in Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro. They own and operate over 300 charging stations in the region, ranging from ultra-fast and fast to those with conventional charging power. According to the strategy, their network will include 1,575 charging stations for electric vehicles by 2025.