FER successfully completed the...

In recent years, FER has implemented a number of infrastructure and development projects in the field of sustainable energy: two smaller solar power plants and a number of battery tanks were installed, its own energy consumption management system was developed, charging stations for electric vehicles were installed... But, with the new project "Photovoltaic system for the production of electricity for own needs in grid operation SE-FER-005 – Phase 1", everything has been raised to a higher level. The new solar power plant has a power of 600 kW and, together with the battery tank, will cover about 50% of FER's electricity consumption.

In addition to energy renovation, which is planned, and its own energy system management system, FER is becoming a unique flexible energy hub. FER thus clearly demonstrates its scientific, educational and professional orientation towards sustainability, renewable energy sources and energy efficiency. In this context, the Study of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Sources, which FER conducts together with the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture (FSB) and in cooperation with the City of Šibenik, is worth noting, and which trains unique energy experts.

FER has successfully implemented the project of building a solar power plant and battery tank, and the progress of the project, results and future plans were presented at the final conference held on Monday, April 29, 2024. The project "Photovoltaic system for the production of electricity for own needs in grid operation SE-FER-005 – Phase 1", abbreviated name SOLAR FER, with a total value of 815,000 EUR, was financed by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area (EEA). 2014 - 2021 with national co-financing from the Republic of Croatia in the amount of EUR 693,000 in grants under the "Energy and Climate Change" Program.

"The Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing focuses its development strategy on sustainability, energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. We are extremely proud of the solar power plant project, with which we are taking the first and big step in the direction of the systematic structural and energy renovation of FER, after which we will be one of of the first low-carbon faculties in Croatia. This will make FER one of the leading regional and recognizable European institutions in the field of sustainable energy in the future," said the FER dean, prof. Vedran Bilas, PhD, pointing out that this is just one of a series of projects that the Faculty implements and shows that it "lives what it teaches".

"Our goal is for FER to become energy independent and carbon neutral in the near future. We already have more than 700 kW of installed solar power plants, battery systems will eventually exceed 350 kWh and 150 kW, we have developed our own consumption management system and charging stations for electric vehicles , and we will present some projects in the coming period. These systems allow the Faculty to optimize the consumption of locally produced energy, but also some new teaching and research directions. The SOLAR FER project has actually transformed us into a flexible energy hub, which means that we will be smart management to be able to provide services to system operators, but also, for example, to share excess energy in the context of civil energy", said prof. Tomislav Capuder, PhD, project team leader.

During the interactive gathering at the project's final conference, the financing program of the European Economic Area was presented, the possibilities offered by such instruments were highlighted, and FER employees presented a number of projects and solutions that have already been implemented, not only at FER, but also in real life. sector. Numerous new solutions and platforms enable new business models for using solar energy.

"We believe that every Croatian citizen must have the ability to produce his own energy on the roof of his house or building, but also the ability to share and buy that energy in the most efficient way possible. In addition to being active in the scientific research spectrum, we strive to continuously adapt our curriculum to novelties and requirements Together with the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Shipbuilding, we are currently working on a new program of our joint Study of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Sources, with the aim of creating unique experts who will support the acceleration of the energy transition," Mirna Gržanić Antić, PhD, assistant professor at FER.

At FER, we believe that their example should be followed as an example of good practice in order to leave a legacy of an energetically green and efficient Croatia, and with our work we  will try to set new boundaries that lead to a sustainable future.

"The Ministry of Regional Development and Funds of the European Union, in cooperation with the Hrvoje Požar Energy Institute, through the Energy and Climate Change program, placed almost EUR 20 million in grants for investments in renewable energy sources and energy efficiency. This successful partnership between the Ministry and the Energy Institute launched a series of investments in the application of technologies that use sea energy, geothermal energy and the energy of the Sun all projects already completed or in the final stage. With this project, FER will increase its installed production capacity from solar power plants and will install a respectable battery tank for balancing electricity production. This will greatly contribute to the future education of new electrical engineers and scientific community in this area, which is probably the most valuable outcome of this project," said Srećko Tamburović on behalf of the program partner, the Hrvoje Požar Energy Institute.

The final conference was also attended by representatives of the program manager from the Ministry of Regional Development and European Union Funds, Marko Kućan from the City of Zagreb, donor representative, Maja Dodić from the Norwegian Embassy, Ivan Šimić from REA Sjever, representatives of the Energy Institute Hrvoje Požar and Ivan Andročec, PhD, from HEP.

Author: Petra Škaberna
News list