The largest solar power plant (SPP) has been built in Inčukalns, Sigulda Municipality. A total investment of EUR 2.5 million of local capital has been invested in the construction of Inčukalns SPP, which will provide green electricity to 1,650 households. Throughout the construction process, a strong emphasis was placed on environmental protection and the preservation of biodiversity.
More than 5,600 solar panels have been installed in the new power plant on 4.5 hectares. Inčukalna SPP has a capacity of 3.1 MW and will generate at least 3,300,000 kWh of electricity annually. This is equivalent to the average annual electricity consumption of 1,650 households. Additionally, energy trader and retailer “Virši” plans to build a fuel station alongside.
Inčukalns SPP is owned by Latvian investment fund Merito Sustainable Energy Fund I, which has partnered with experienced experts from Saules Energy to implement SPP projects. A total of EUR 2.5 million has been invested in the development of new SPP, with equity from 58 investors and a loan of 1.2 million euros from AS Citadele banka. The general contractor for this project is a Latvian company KL Systems, which has 12 years of experience in building industrial solar parks across Europe.
As Līga Sausiņa, Chair of Sigulda Municipality Council explains, “Sigulda Municipality is proud to be among the first municipalities in Latvia with its own industrial-scale SPP. We look forward to continued investment by entrepreneurs in renewable energy sources in the municipality. Each investment represents a significant step towards promoting Latvia’s energy independence. Importantly, this green energy generation paves the way for more dynamic business development in the region.”
Strong emphasis has been placed on preserving environmental biodiversity throughout the development of Inčukalns SPP. The territorial fence has been raised to allow smaller animals and amphibians to cross the area freely. Additionally, specially designed piles of boulders were integrated into the territory to provide shelter for wildlife, along with two bat houses on the site.
The project implementers invite local farmers to collaborate and utilize the solar power plant’s meadow areas for the needs of bee colonies and sheep herds.
“Thanks to Sigulda Municipality Council’s understanding of the importance and necessity of environmentally friendly infrastructure, Inčukalns SPP project has been implemented according to plan and the power plant is already operational. Since Latvia needs to make tangible progress in increasing its share of renewable energy, we have focused our efforts on projects that will start producing green and more affordable electricity. SPPs funded by the Merito Fund in Sigulda municipality and elsewhere are being developed with connection to the distribution infrastructure, as a result of which electricity is being generated close to its consumers – regional residents and companies. Such a strategy not only ensures stable consumption but also enhances the energy security of Latvia’s regions,” explains Artūrs Plūme, Chairman of the Board of Saules Energy.