Merito Partners, with co-financing from Swedbank, will construct the largest solar power plant (SPP) in Latvia this year. The SPP, with the capacity of 12 MW, will be commissioned in Carnikava, ensuring sustainable electricity for over 5,860 households in Carnikava and the surrounding residential areas. The total investment in Carnikavas SPP is EUR 8 million, with EUR 4.5 million in funding from Swedbank. This will be the largest solar power plant in Latvia to enter service this year at the time of commissioning.
In September, 22,300 solar panels will be installed across 11.7 hectare area. Carnikavas SPP will have a capacity of 12 MW and is expected to generate a minimum of 12,300,000 kWh of electricity annually, equivalent to the average annual electricity consumption of 5,860 households.
Mikus Janvars, co-founder and Managing Partner at Merito: “We are proud to announce our partnership with Swedbank on construction of the largest SPP in Latvia to date. Swedbank is not only the largest bank in Latvia, but also is the leading advocate for sustainability in the Baltics. We pay great attention to responsible business development. Throughout the SPP construction process, together with independent experts, we carefully evaluate and select suppliers with strong sustainability credentials. At the same time, by increasing the share of renewable energy in Latvia, we are protecting the environment and biodiversity. Drawing inspiration from industry leaders, we continuously innovate our practices, placing ever stronger emphasis on sustainability and responsible business conduct. In all our SPPs we are creating habitats for insects and bats. In the future, we plan to collaborate with local farmers, utilizing the solar power plant’s meadows to support bee colonies and sheep herds.”
Solar energy is one of the most effective ways in which Latvia and other European countries can increase their energy independence from oil and gas. SPPs not only offer economic benefits, but also bring significant environmental and social advantages. Their construction does not involve significant territorial changes. SPPs are quiet and harmless to living creatures. At the end of service life, solar panels are efficiently recycled, ensuring that most components are reused.
The Merito’s solar power plants are strategically connected to the distribution infrastructure. This allows for electricity generation to be close to consumers, benefiting both regional residents and businesses. Carnikava SPP is located directly opposite the Carnikava Substation.
As Jevgenijs Ivanovs, Head of Corporate Division at Swedbank, explains “At a time when there is a nationwide discussion regarding the role of banks in the development of the country’s economy, we are delighted to announce that the largest SPP to be commissioned this year was made possible through the collaboration with Swedbank. This achievement serves as another testament to the support of sustainable business concepts by financial institutions due to their invaluable role in the growth of a new and higher-quality economy. Importantly, in a time marked by geopolitical uncertainties and the war in Ukraine, which have directly affected energy prices in Latvia, we are in the process of transitioning ourselves from net electricity importers to electricity exporters. The development of the largest solar plant in Latvia is large step in increasing our economy’s energy independence while decreasing our reliance on fossil fuels. Swedbank, which has long identified itself as a bank dedicated to fostering sustainable change, naturally aligns with projects that share our vision of a greener and more self-reliant economic future”.
In all lending processes, Swedbank assesses sustainability risks based on the financing amount and the complexity of the business. Projects are also evaluated for the potential compliance with the Sustainable Finance Framework. Based on this framework, Swedbank may issue green bonds. Our green categories, such as solar power plants, align with the 2021 Green Bond Principles by International Capital Market Association’s (ICMA) and adhere to the EU Taxonomy technical screening criteria.
The solar power plant ‘Carnikavas SES’ is owned by ‘Merito Sustainable Energy Fund I’, which is managed by the Latvian investment company ‘Merito Partners’. Merito Partners have partnered with experienced experts from Saules Energy to implement eight SPP projects in Latvia. The Carnikavas SPP will be Merito Partners’ fourth solar power plant to commence operation this year.