OX2 – OUR ENERGY NEVER ENDS! Katarzyna Suchcicka, General Director OX2
OX2 HAS ACCUMULATED MORE THAN 17 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN WIND ENERGY DEVELOPMENT AND AN EXTENSIVE PORTFOLIO OF COMPLETED PROJECTS. LAST YEAR THE WIND FARM IN THE ŻARY MUNICIPALITY WAS COMMISSIONED, CONSTITUTING THE FIRST TURN-KEY PROJECT COMPLETED ENTIRELY BY OX2. WOULD YOU BE ABLE TO TELL US MORE ABOUT IT?
I think we have something like a sentiment for this project. The Żary Wind Farm is our first onshore wind project, with a capacity of 21 MW, which has obtained a concession and was handed over for operation.This was a testing ground where we accumulated our Polish experiences related to preparing for construction, cooperation with self-government authorities, legislation and cooperation with subcontractors.
WHAT IS YOUR ASSESSMENT OF THE RES SECTOR SITUATION IN POLAND AND WHAT CAN WE EXPECT IN THE FUTURE?
Poland is a market with an excellent potential for investments and renewable energy sector development. Even though this industry has been growing for many years in Poland, we still generate over 70% of energy from fossil fuels. That is why we took up the climate challenge and got actively involved in the energy transition that is to drive the share of renewable energy sources in the domestic energy mix, both in the wind and solar energy sector. Legislative changes to remove the obstacles resulting from the so-called Distance Act, as well as multi-level education are surely critical for enabling further development of the wind energy industry in Poland.In my opinion,transparent regulations need to be developed to enable appropriate spatial design and investment planning based on mutual dialogue. Only then will market development be possible.
HOW DO YOU ASSESS YOUR COOPERATION WITH THE AUTHORITIES AND LOCAL COMMUNITY OF THE ŻARY MUNICIPALITY DURING THIS PROJECT?
I believe that an individual approach to each project is the key to success, both at the development and implementation stage. We initiate dialogue with the land owners, citizens, municipality representatives and local associations at an early stage. We want to be a good neighbor and a part of the community.That is why we get strongly involved in initiatives in the field of education, culture and activating community groups. Social dialogue, bilateral relationships and personal contact are our priorities. We discuss the needs of municipalities and their citizens, and respond to these needs.Fulfilling our promises and obligations is essential for us at every implementation stage, from preparation,through construction and up to operation.It wasn’t any different with the Żary municipality. Together with the local authorities, we’ve built an access road and an irrigation system for a local sports field, purchased sport attire and equipment, granted financial support for education and organized an environmental contest for the youngest citizens.
OX2 HAVE ENTERED POLAND WITH THEIR INVESTMENTS WITH A BANG. IMPLEMENTING THE ŻARY PROJECT HAS BEEN A MILESTONE. WHAT NEXT STEPS CAN WE EXPECT FROM OX2 HERE IN POLAND?
During our three-year-long presence in the Polish market,we have created an extensive portfolio of wind and photovoltaic projects at different stages of development, reaching a total power of approximately 1.5 GW. Currently,we are building four wind farms in Poland,with a power output ranging from 20 MW to 48 MW. These projects have already secured support through the auction system. We are preparing for the construction of another four, with a total power of over 222MW.
We are beginning the construction of a solar farm in Recz,which will be the first in the OX2 portfolio, but surely not the last – preparations are underway for building another one.This next project will be one of the largest photovoltaic power plants in Poland and Central and Eastern Europe, with a power of approximately 100 MWp. Intensive development of our projects and our company is accompanied by strong growth of our team of specialists.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS IN POLAND IN COMPARISON TO OTHER COUNTRIES? ARE THERE ANY OBSTACLES FOR INVESTMENTS BY THE VISTULA RIVER? IF YES, WHAT KIND OF DIFFICULTIES ARE THESE?
Let me use a comparison to the Scandinavian countries, where our company originates from. In Poland, we cannot currently install the most efficient turbines due to regulatory restrictions.This makes it impossible to generate energy at a low cost as in the Scandinavian countries, even though we optimize it as much as possible, up to the maximum. When comparing our investment models in Poland and Scandinavia,we see that energy generation costs in our country are higher due to using smaller turbines. Cost of RES energy is lower that when using fossil fuels, but using the most modern turbines would decrease the wind energy generation cost in Poland by 15–20 percent. This is how much we could gain using the available 4–5 MW turbine technologies. However, we believe that very much needed legislative changes will be introduced soon,resulting in reduced energy costs, as well as a positive environmental impact and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
IS THE POLISH GEOGRAPHY FAVORABLE FOR BUILDING WIND FARMS? WHICH POLISH REGIONS ARE SPECIFICALLY PREDESTINED FOR THIS?
Every project development starts with a comprehensive assessment, as part of which we determine, for example,the optimal area for the construction of a wind farm or solar plant, taking into consideration the wind, insolation, grid parameters, land ownership and terms for obtaining a legally effective permission. Moreover, generation calculations are conducted and an electric network is designed. A farm or turbine layout design is optimized so as to ensure that the construction generates the lowest possible costs. Polish geography is favorable for building wind and photovoltaic farms and generating energy from these sources. However, it is important to conduct an individual analysis for each project before starting implementation.
WHICH OF YOUR COMPANY’S IMPLEMENTATIONS MAKE YOU THE MOST PROUD?
All our projects fill us with pride a sense of success, but what is the most important for us is being aware, every day, that we contribute to protecting the environment and building a sustainable future. We are exerting a deliberate and meaningful impact on shaping the energy transition and we co create and develop the renewable energy sector.
IN YOUR OPINION, HOW WILL THE WAR IN UKRAINE AND THE RELATED FOSSIL FUEL SUPPLY CHAIN BREAKDOWN AFFECT THE INTERNATIONAL ENERGY POLICY AND HOW WILL THIS IMPACT THE ENTIRE RES SECTOR, INCLUDING IN POLAND?
We are seeing numerous aspects and consequences caused by the political situation of the last two months. One thing is sure – the war between our neighbors has made us strongly aware of the global dependency on traditional energy sources, which is something we must become independent from. I believe this will happen sooner than we might think. I can also see how the discussion focus is shifting from costs to values such as security,stability and independence. The energy industry stands behind every type of activity and shifting our focus and activities to a higher level is the right thing to do.
Katarzyna Suchcicka – General Director Ox2
For 15 years associated with the energy sector and more specifically with renewable energy sources. A graduate of engineering studies abroad and economics in Poland. She has international experience in managing and building effective teams. Actively participates in the Polish energy transformation.
Last Updated on June 28, 2022 by Valeriia Honcharuk