Renewable energy communities, as well as micro-, small- and medium-sized companies as well as farmers who wish to install a low-capacity turbine can already apply for investment support. This option is available to those thinking about constructing a single wind turbine with a capacity of up to 3 MW. So where should you start? And what should you look for?
Various permits will be required for constructing a wind turbine, depending on its size and capacity. Pursuant to the Technical Construction Regulation STR “Classification of Structures”, wind power plants with a height no greater than 30 metres are included in the list of simple structures.
“In addition, if the wind power plant has a capacity of 350 kW or less, there is no need to prepare detailed plans or change the purpose of the land use. Small capacity plants also do not require a construction permit, or an environmental and public health impact assessment – so the required procedures will take less time,” explained Aistis Radavičius, Director of the Lithuanian Wind Power Association.
In addition, he revealed that currently, low-capacity wind turbines are issued permits for electricity generation by the State Energy Inspectorate under the Ministry of Energy.
Renewable energy communities, as well as farmers and micro-, small- and medium-sized companies wishing to install low-capacity turbines can apply for investment support. As the Ministry of Energy recently announced, the current funding for this measure is at least EUR 7 million.
This support will be provided to those planning to build an individual wind turbine with a capacity of up to 3 MW or a solar power plant with a capacity of up to 500 kW. Funding will also be available to people who have already started developing projects of this type, i.e. those who have obtained permission to develop an electricity generation object.
The maximum amount of support for a wind power plant is EUR 614.70/kW excluding VAT (EUR 743.79/kW including VAT), while in the case of a solar power plant the amount is EUR 369.00/kW excluding VAT (EUR 446.49/kW excluding VAT). Applications for this funding can be submitted from 9 December 2020 to 11 January 2021. The invitation is published and applications should be submitted on the EPMA website.
When preparing to build a wind power plant, it is advisable to evaluate every aspect of the area where it will be built. This includes both the wind speed, which will later determine the production results, and the features of the surrounding environment. The latter is an important factor because the rotating turbine will cast a shadow during the day, so it should be installed further away from residential buildings.
“It is recommended to build the power plant in a relatively open area and to avoid obstacles such as hills or trees. This is because these objects can block the wind and reduce the amount of electricity produced,” noted Radavičius. He also pointed out that it is important to estimate the distance to the nearest power line, or even to the nearest road so that transport vehicles can reach the power plant.
The capacity of a wind power plant should also meet the electricity consumption needs of the builder, in order to produce the optimal result. It therefore makes sense to consult with professionals who can help you choose the most effective option.
Due to rapidly developing technologies, the cost of building a wind turbine has been steadily declining. For example, a power plant with a capacity of about 20 kW, which is enough to meet the needs of a larger household, can be built for EUR 60 thousand. A larger power plants that will generate up to 3 MW is more efficient and produces more electricity. However, it should be pointed out that the construction process is more complicated and requires a greater investment amounting to approximately EUR 1 million per megawatt of power. Nonetheless, if the developer is eligible to receive the investment support, this investment could pay for itself in less than ten years.
Thus, by taking into account the demand for electricity, the amount of support and the price of the turbine, it is quite easy to calculate the investment that will be needed and how soon it will pay off. It should also be noted that wind power plants typically operate for up to 25 years and the surplus electricity can be sold on the exchange.
Wind turbines provide 100 percent clean energy. This is especially important for the companies or farmers who are following the latest ecological trends.
“The residents are paying attention to the surrounding environment and the focus on sustainability is constantly growing. This means that the companies and farms using energy produced from renewable sources have a competitive advantage – it increases the value of their goods or services,” noted Radavičius.
According to a representative survey that was commissioned by the Lithuanian Wind Power Association, it is important for more than half of the Lithuanian population – 57.4 percent – that the companies they buy services or goods from use electricity generated from renewable sources.