Plans are currently underway to start construction in 2025 and we welcomed the smooth cooperation with the municipality and local communities.
During the meeting, Aistis Radavičius, the Head of Development at Aura Power in Lithuania, and his team presented the planned 900 ha solar park to the municipality. The first phase of its development is expected to reach an installed capacity of 375MW - that would provide enough electricity to meet the needs of 190,000 Lithuanian households. The solar park would be one of the largest in Europe, with an investment of at least €250 million.
Representatives of Aura Power told the Mayor's team about the British company's experience in developing solar park and battery projects in 9 markets around the world, the positive impact of solar parks on local communities and the national economy, the technology of solar modules, technical, environmental and other important aspects.
For his part, the Mayor welcomed the fact that the capacity of the planned solar park would compare to almost one-third of the reactor of the closed Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant, and expressed his support for solar technologies. Mr Ragaišis also asked about the jobs during the development and maintenance of the project, as well as environmental and social measures. According to Mr Radavičius, in more than 2 years of operation in the Ignalina region, Aura Power has managed to develop strong relations with the region's communities of residents and farmers, and the company's involvement will grow as the project moves towards an active phase of development.
"If a few years ago, when we started talking to landowners, we had a lot of questions and amazement, now our project in Dūkštas region can be safely called well-known and welcome. We have acquired land and have long-term leases with dozens of landowners, but more importantly, we have built long-term relationships and trust by organising and supporting meetings, events and other local community initiatives. Since Aura Power is coming to Ignalina for the long term, we discussed with the Mayor the possibilities of getting even more involved in social and community projects that are important for the whole municipality," says Radavičius.
Last summer, Aura Power had hoped to complete the solar park by 2025, but with the central government's complete suspension of solar energy in Lithuania, the project was delayed by at least one year. In a favourable market environment, Aura Power would consider expanding the Dūkštas project with additional capacity and a battery, as well as developing other projects in the Ignalina region.
Aura Power has already signed a letter of intent with the grid operator Litgrid for the Dūkštas solar park and paid a deposit of €5.6 million. We have been carrying out preparatory technical, engineering, planning, environmental and other work for several years. The solar park itself is planned to be connected to a 330 kV transmission line.
The British Ambassador to Lithuania, Brian Olley, who attended the official unveiling of the solar park last summer, pointed out that this project will be the largest ever British investment in the country, and will eventually help Lithuania become an energy exporter again. Only this time it will be green and renewable electricity.
We are disappointed at the result of Cornwall Council's Planning Committee, where Members voted to refuse our 30 MW solar farm planning application near Carnhell Green, despite being recommended for approval.
The Spinter Research survey published in July was probably the first time in Lithuania's history to measure the country's population's preference for different methods of electricity generation. Solar energy was not only the most supported, but also equally positive regardless of age, education, income or place of residence of the respondents.