With the completion of the transformer station, the construction of the high-voltage grid connected to the MAVIR substation in Szolnok and the progress of the installation of the solar panels, the trial operation of the largest solar farm in the country has started. The new-generation, nature-friendly Lumen Park Szolnok, with an installed capacity of 140 megawatts, is being developed and invested in by the SolServices Group and will be one of the largest solar parks not only in the country but also in Central and Eastern Europe. The facility will be built on the outer side of the M4 motorway bypassing the city from the north, and the investor intends to add an educational lake for educational purposes in the future, which will be open to the public under supervision. The Lumen Park Szolnok will save the atmosphere from an annual emission of around 39,000 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to the annual CO2 sequestration of 274 hectares of oak forest, three times the area of the Tiszaliget in Szolnok.
The importance of the solar farm, which will consist of two installations, is illustrated by the fact that when completed, it will be capable of generating enough green electricity to cover almost half of the county’s total electricity consumption. Its positive impact on climate protection is also significant. Thanks to the use of environmentally friendly technology, the annual CO2 emissions saved are in the order of 39,000 tonnes, which is equivalent in climate terms to the investor planting 274 hectares of new oak forest every year, an area three times the size of the Tiszaliget in Szolnok. The project started in the summer of 2021 and is expected to be fully completed by the third quarter of 2022 at the latest, although electricity generation has started as part of the test run and is already supplying green electricity to the grid. The construction of Lumen Park Szolnok is also a milestone for SolServices, the Hungarian market leader in the development of large-scale solar parks: it is the company’s first solar park to be built on its own investment.
“I am pleased that we have reached an agreement with the investor to bring this development here. This is an important investment for the city, which will put Szolnok on the energy map not only of Hungary but also of the region. The solar farm will be an important partner for the city for at least 25 years, and the amount of business tax it will provide will help the city to make further environmentally friendly developments, which will soon make Szolnok a truly green city, and even more liveable for local residents”, said Ferenc Szalay, Mayor of Szolnok.
“The investment is unique, as the Szolnok solar park will be the first new generation, nature-friendly solar park in the country with a positive environmental impact. The Lumen Park Szolnok will not only produce green energy, but will also provide an ideal habitat for the flora and fauna of the region. It will strengthen and diversify the flora and fauna, as well as refresh the soil that has been exhausted by decades of intensive agricultural production,” said Dr. Gábor Farkas, Managing Director of SolServices Ltd.
The key strength of the new generation of eco-friendly solar parks is that they maximise the positive environmental impact. The experts will create a landscape of plants that blends in with the landscape and requires minimal maintenance, and will install tree stands that provide food and habitat for insects. Insects will provide a food source for reptiles that migrate to the area, which will be encouraged to stay by creating hiding places and overwintering burrows. A similar approach will be taken for small mammals, but nesting sites will also be created to meet the needs of the bird population in the landscape.
The Lumen Park Szolnok will be an important tool to showcase solar PV technology for environmentally conscious energy production. SolServices pays special attention to increasing knowledge about sustainable living from the youngest to the older generation. “As our projects are long term and Lumen Park Szolnok will continue to be the dominant energy engine in the area for at least 25 years, we are committed to continuous engagement with the communities and joint thinking. The solar park in Szolnok will provide an opportunity to introduce primary and secondary school students to the technology of photovoltaic power generation, the underlying physical and chemical processes and how power generation and environmental protection can be brought into symbiosis, through outsourced lessons,” said Dr. Gábor Farkas, who also said that SolServices aims to participate in the cultural and sports life of Szolnok and the surrounding communities