State electricity firm opens Hungary's largest solar park

State electricity firm opens Hungary's largest solar park
By bne IntelliNews March 6, 2019

A subsidiary of Hungary’s state-owned electricity company MVM opened Hungary’s largest solar park in Paks, near the country’s sole nuclear power plant, on March 5.

The power plant was completed from a HUF9bn (€28.5mn) investment and will have a maximum capacity of 20.6 MW and will meet the electricity needs of about 8,500 households. The MVM group covered 65% of the investment from own resources and 35% from EU funding.

The opening of the new facility comes two weeks after Hungary's second-largest power plant Matrai Eromu began the trial operation of what was then the country’s largest solar park with an in-built capacity of 20 MW.

The import rate of Hungarian energy consumption is 58%, which can be reduced to less than 50% by production from environmentally friendly domestic energy sources, increasing the use of local energy, and improving domestic energy storage, according to one of the 330 recommendations made by the National Bank (MNB) to boost the country's competitiveness. The rather ambitious target from the MNB is to increase the share of renewables to 30% by 2030 from 13% at present. 

Solar energy accounts for 0.5% of the country's annual electricity production, but that could grow substantially with the construction of new facilities. There are some 3,000MW capacity solar projects in the pipeline. 

MVM has begun the construction of 110 solar power plants scattered evenly across the country. The solar parks, with a total built-in capacity of 100MW, are expected to start commercial operation before the end of 2019.

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