The municipal authorities of Chelmiec, in the southern region of Poland, have launched the region’s first PV farm, which is fitted with a capacity of close to 1MW, and located on a land plot of some 20,000 square meters.
The project was carried out by the municipally-owned company Kopalnia Surowcow Skalnych (KSS) Kleczany sp. z o.o. To develop the project, the company secured an investment grant from the European Union as part of its Cohesion Funds for the 2007-2013 financial period. The grant is worth some PLN 2.5 million (US $625,000), and, together with an additional PLN 3.5 million (US $875,000) acquired by the Polish municipality, it allowed the investor to allocate a total of PLN 6 million (US $1.5 million) with the aim to launch the region’s first PV farm.
Artur Pietrzak, the chief executive of KSS Kleczany, told Solar Novus Today that the project in Chelmiec was implemented in line with the initial planning phase. The facility was launched in late December 2015, several days before Christmas, as originally planned, according to the chief executive.
“The only challenge that we encountered in the course of the project was related to the fact that, for some of the ordered components, the delivery time was quite lengthy,” Pietrzak said. “The farm is fitted with some 3,800 panels, and each panel is enabled with a capacity of 260 Watts.”
The chief executive said that, as part of the project, two 0.5 MW inverters were installed at the farm. The inverters were supplied by ABB, according to Pietrzak, and solar panels and racking from Polish firm Bruk-Bet Solar.
In January 2016, the Polish farm was connected to the grid, and the municipality is aiming to further expand the farm’s surface on a land plot of about 60,000 square meters (645,800 square feet). This will allow Chelmiec to gradually increase the farm’s total capacity to as much as 5MW, according to the company.
Under the plan, following the launch of its latest investment, KSS Kleczany is aiming to turn the project to profit in a foreseeable future, and generate revenues of about PLN 600,000 (US $150,000) per year from the PV plant, according to the information obtained by local news site Gramwzielone.pl. Should the company’s estimates prove to be correct, the investment in Chelmiec would turn to profit after a five-year period.
KSS Kleczany said in a statement that its contract with the electricity transmission network will allow it directly sell the generated electricity. The farm was built by local company Caldoris.
On a related note, KSS Kleczany is planning to acquire further funds from the European Union to implement its project of expanding the PV plant. The municipally-owned company says that the mining sector is its prime field of activity, but KSS Kleczany has also been expanding its involvement in other sectors, including the PV industry.
The municipality of Chelmiec is inhabited by less than 27,000 people, and it is located slightly more than 330 km from the Polish capital city Warsaw, in the country's southern region of Malopolskie.
Written by By Jaroslaw Adamowski, a freelance writer who lives in Poland.