Back in 2018 Ignitis Innovation team kicked off a community solar program in Lithuania with a launch of the community solar platform saulesparkai.lt. The pilot platform allowed users to purchase part of the solar array and benefit from a net metering system in Lithuania. The project was highly successful due to a very beneficial net-metering system that was necessary to kick off prosumer numbers in Lithuania. Leveraging the success of the launch and focusing on sustainable long-term market solutions Ignitis Group Innovation team decided to propose scaling the platform with introduction of community wind.
Today we mark the start of rebranded saulesparkai.lt platform. Platform becomes e-parkai.lt and introduces a proposal for future prosumers to rent part of wind turbine developed in Lithuania. The tenants of wind turbine will benefit not from net-metering system (storing energy in the grid to be consumed during demand peaks) but rather from net-billing system (selling energy at the given NordPool market price). Since prosumers will not trade energy directly in the market, their retailer will play an essential role to enable net-billing system. Retailer will match the benefits of sold energy in the market with the current costs of electricity consumption each month.
The wind turbine lease proposal is first of its kind in Lithuania and therefore is in its pilot phase. It will allow consumers to reduce energy costs without large initial investment. We expect this step to be a rather demonstrative option that should be replaced by wind power purchase proposal in the nearest future. The first wind park project announced with the rebranded platform, will be available only to Ignitis clients. It is expected that in the future more wind developers will take advantage of the rebranded platform and will offer more wind power for consumers to acquire.
Since the launch of the platform in 2018, prosumers and developers have traded more than 20 MW of new PV installments in Lithuania. Coupling wind energy with solar is proved to be essential in many countries due to energy production profiles. The crucial goal for energy utilities and grid operators is to balance the consumption and production. This task becomes increasingly more difficult since electrification of private heating sector takes off. This leads to significant consumption increases in winter and solar alone simply cannot meet this need.
Considering all this, enabling consumer investment in wind power is vital for a sustainable future. Our innovation team believes that we are witnessing a new era for prosumers in Lithuania, and we are happy to be a part of it.