Serbia: Solar Thermal System for Sanitary Hot Water in Pančevo

Benefits

  • Avoiding 300 tons of C02 per year   
  • Replacing 138.000 m3 of natural gas
  • Increased security of energy supply

Challenge

About 15 years ago, the district heating company JKP Grejanje, supported by its local government, set out to make its heating system more green and efficient. Grejanje is located in the city of Pančevo, Serbia, home to about 120 thousands inhabitants.

Approximately 46% of the city’s total heating space is connected to the district heating system, based on gas heating boilers. Grejanje supplies around 12.400 apartments and 600 public and business spaces.  Along with heating services, the company also provides hot sanitary water to 2.000 users.

Summary

In the last five years, the district heating company has developed two renewables-based projects for the preparation of hot sanitary water.

In 2015, using IPA funds for project “Banat sun 4 all”, Grejanje installed 360 solar panel collectors and supporting equipment, over a surface of 906 m2, near its heating plant Kotež. More than 600 MWh of annual heat consumption is obtained from solar energy.

In February 2020, in cooperation with USAID, Grejanje installed additional 198 solar panels on the rooftop of the same heating plant, with total capacity of about 350 kW.  Roof-mounted installation was chosen to avoid using available land at the plant.

Finance

The projects were supported by USAID and the European Union’s Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA).

The total investment in second project supported by USAID was €130,000 with 9 years of payback period. The project was supported by USAID Serbia Energy Efficiency Activity (SEEA). The SEEA is two-year project launched in May 2019. It intended to reduce gas fuel consumption and dependency on imported fuel through improved energy efficiency in the provision of heating at the local level. SEEA is implemented by Tetra Tech ES, Inc., in cooperation with E3 International.

Results

The two solar fields produce about 900 MWh of heat per annum, which represents 12-15% of Pančevo’s annual energy needs for the preparation of hot sanitary hot water. The panels replaced 138.000 m3 of natural gas and avoid each year 300 tons of CO2.

Next steps

Following the positive results of a pre-feasibility study, a new feasibility study for the construction of a large solar heating plant with storage is underway with the financial support of EBRD. It is foreseen that the plant will have about 35.000m2 of collectors and a pit-storage of 150.000m3. As part of the plant, an Absorption Heat Pump (AHP) with a capacity of about 15 MW would be installed. The plant will produce about 27.000 MWh per year. The plant would provide about 23% of the heating needs of the city of Pančevo from renewable energy sources.