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      The energy of the City of Szczecin. Cheaper electricity for the Roads and Public Transport Authority

      Marta Kufel

      Marta Kufel

      The energy of the City of Szczecin. Cheaper electricity for the Roads and Public Transport Authority

      PLN 0.25/kWh for electricity to be purchased by ZDTiM instead of the statutory rate of PLN 0.785? Yes, it's possible! The energy needed to power street lamps and traffic lights will come from EcoGenerator - Szczecin-based waste incineration plant. Thanks to the measures taken by the City, in 2023 ZDTiM will pay for electricity by nearly PLN 27 million less than expected.

      Such savings are possible due to the activities pursued as part of the programme called the Energy of the City of Szczecin which is aimed at Szczecin’s energy independence through the increased use of own energy sources.  It will ensure the stability of energy prices and supply security, allowing the City to break free from external factors.

      Problems with electricity procurement procedures conducted by the Roads and Public Transport Authority began in August, when the only economic operator submitting their bids proposed a sum which was nearly by 25 million zlotys higher than the existing one. The only company which took part in the procedure is offering its services for 2023 for a contractual price of PLN 37,819,568.78

      The procedure concerned comprehensive services consisting in the sale of electric energy, together with the distribution of energy for the Roads and Public Transport Authority in Szczecin for electricity supply points powered from the ENEA Operator’s distribution system. It included around 820 connection points across the city:

      - power supply for street lighting and pedestrian crossings - approx. 36,000 lamps,

      - power supply for traffic lights - 141 junctions with traffic lights,

      - power supply for bus stop infrastructure (Passenger Information System boards, ticket vending machines and buildings),

      - power supply for electric vehicle charging stations - 2 stations,

      - power supply for navigation lighting on bridges,

      - power supply for Traffic Management Systems.

      In recent years, the values of comprehensive contracts were PLN 9,571,410.17 for 2020, PLN 9,350,744.96 for 2021 and PLN 12,973,499.26 for 2022. The proposed amount for 2023 is PLN 37,819,568.78.

      Due to the difficult situation, a decision was made to divide the procedure into two parts.

      In October, ZDTiM sent to ENEA Operator a request for quotation as part of a single-source procedure for the provision of electricity distribution services for the Roads and Public Transport Authority in Szczecin for electricity supply points powered from the ENEA Operator’s distribution system. Thanks to negotiations, we are due to enter into 822 distribution agreements, but the sale itself was still uncertain at that point.

      No economic operator has submitted their tenders as part of a procurement procedure launched in October for the sale of electricity for the purpose of the Roads and Pubic Transport Authority in Szczecin, for electricity supply points powered from the Enea Operator's distribution system. Therefore, a request for quotation as part of a single source procedure was sent to Zakład Unieszkodliwiania Odpadów Sp. z o.o. (Waste Treatment Enterprise). In early December, we managed to sign an agreement for the first six months of 2023, for a net rate of PLN 0.25/kWh, which is even less that than the current price ZDTiM is paying.

      Based on the electricity consumption data for 2021 and rates for 2022, it is estimated that the distribution may cost ZDTiM around PLN 4 million. The exact amount will be revealed on 17 December, when the President of the Energy Regulatory Office (URE) approves the rates. The difference is huge! It could be 37 million, but the estimates show that the cost will not exceed PLN 10 million.

      Starting from the New Year, street lamps and traffic lights across Szczecin will illuminate thanks to ... waste. Technopark Pomerania will also benefit from cheaper electricity produced by EcoGenerator. These are the first large-scale agreements which will allow the incineration plant to power the units of the Szczecin Municipality.

      Until present, Zakład Unieszkodliwiania Odpadów Sp z o.o. was only able to produce electricity from waste and transmit it to the National Electric Power Network. In May 2022, ZUO was awarded a licence to trade in electric power from the President of the Energy Regulatory Office. This resulted in agreements made with the Roads and Public Transport Authority and the Szczecin Science & Technology Park, which will take effect as of the beginning of next year. The first agreement was signed for a term of six months. In the period of six months, EcoGenerator will supply to ZDTiM over 7,715 MWh of electricity.

      Technopark Pomerania is another municipal entity to acquire electricity from EcoGegerator. Here, the estimate volume of electric energy produced for this entity will amount to 2,700 MWh. The term of the agreement will cover the entire 2023.

      EcoGenerator, i.e. the Waste Treatment Enterprise, is located in Ostrów Grabowiecki in Szczecin, operating since December 2017. It is one of the most innovative incineration plants in Europe, using the so-called wet flue gas cleaning system. It processes municipal waste in a way which is safe to the environment into heating and electric energy which reaches thousands of households. The plant’s capacity is 176,000 tonnes a year. During the four years of its operations, EcoGenerator produced over 2.1 million GJ of heat. In 2021 alone, it was over 687,000 GJ. Electricity generated between 2018 and 2021 amounted to over 311,000 MWh. The plant closed 2021 with the annual result of over 76,700 MWh.

      The ultimate goal is to source as much as 65% of energy necessary for the city's functioning from EcoGenerator. The remaining part is to be provided by the municipal photovoltaic plants being planned or other alternative energy sources. Szczecin is in possession of areas which are currently being reviewed in terms of proper conditions (e.g. inclination and sun exposure) and the possibility to connect to the electricity grid. These areas, covered by photovoltaic panels, would be able to generate even 45,000 MWh of electricity a year.  As a result, these plants or other alternative energy sources, together with the EcoGenerator, will be able to cater for the City’s entire demand for electricity, and ensure energy independence to Szczecin.

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