Macedonia to build first wind energy plant in 2011

In Macedonia few dedicated professors from Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technologies (FEIT) in Skopje started to push the idea that investigation of country wind resources is something that should be done as soon as possible. In fact the first step for wind farms development is to determine accurately the wind resources and potential wind energy production of a future wind farms in selected candidate sites.

Unfortunately in Macedonia there is no accurate knowledge of country wind resources and it is a major barrier for any possible development of the utilization of wind power. The available wind speed information in Macedonia originates from the national network of meteorological stations, which – as in the rest of the world – used alone are not sufficient for accurate wind resource assessment.

This situation was inspiration to make strategic plan for investigation of wind resources and potential and possible development of wind farms in the near future. The plan is consisting of three main phases: preparation of wind atlas which is numerical modeling based on geophysical and meteorological inputs, conducting of measurement campaign on the most promising sites defined from the atlas and preparation of feasibility studies as basis for possible erection of wind farms.

The first phase was conducted by ESM (the former Electric Power Company of Macedonia) and Wind Atlas was prepared by AWS Truewind Company from U.S.A in May and June, 2005. The second phase, is measurement campaign of wind parameters on selected sites. This phase is sponsored by Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Elem plans to build 15 to 18 wind turbines with 2 to 3 MW of capacity each in the next two years in the wind farm first phase of development. The wind farm will have an overall capacity of 37 MW.

Elem will build the wind turbines in Bogdanci in the south of Macedonia, close to the Greek border. Construction of the wind power plant is expected to begin in autumn this year. The wind power’s output is likely to replace imports of electricity.

The wind power project is estimated to cost EUR 55 million, financed by Elem and through a EUR 32.9 million loan from German bank KfW. A second phase could see additional wind turbines installed to increase capacity to 50 MW.