Production of electricity in Macedonia
At the beginning of the last century, electrification began in Macedonia. In 1909, the first power plant in Macedonia was put into operation in Skopje.
The power station produced direct current of 60 KS and a voltage of 220 V. The electricity produced at the first plant in Skopje was used to illuminate the building in which the quarters of the Turkish governor were located (at that time Macedonia was part of the Ottoman Empire), for the pumping station of the city’s water pipeline and for lighting on one street in the city. In 1924, when the second city in Macedonia, Bitola, was electrified, several smaller-diesel powered generating units were put into operation in Skopje, which was used to illuminate several factories at the time, the city hospital and the theater.
In the same period, the first hydroelectric power plant in Macedonia was built in 1927 on the river of Pena in Tetovo. HPP “Pena” had a power of 1760 kW. In addition to the needs of Tetovo, this power plant produced electricity for the needs of Skopje, for which the first 35 kV transmission line was built with a length of 45 km. Until the beginning of the Second World War, several power generation aggregates with low power were put into operation in Macedonia. In 1938, the Matka power plant was put into operation, which, with its characteristics and power of over 4MW, was the first larger capacity generator in then-Macedonia.
By 1940, almost all major cities in Macedonia had electricity. The more intensive electrification and development of Macedonia’s electro-energetic system starts after the Second World War. In 1945, the “Federal Power Supply Company“ (FEP) was formed, which was later transformed into the “Electric Power Supply Company of Macedonia” (ESM). In the period from 1956 to 1970, seven hydropower plants (which are still operational) are being built and put into operation. Of these, the largest one is HPP “Vrutok”, which is one of the three hydroelectric plants from the so-called Mavrovo basin. In 1964, the first 220 kV transmission line was built, which connected Skopje to the TPP “Kosovo A”, and the next year (1965), the construction of the first 220 kV transformer station “Skopje-1” started. Over the next decades, the transmission power grid was being upgraded with 440 kW power lines and transformer stations. In the period from 1978 to 1988, three thermoelectric plants with a great installed power were built in Macedonia, which are still in operation today. The first of them – oil-fired TPP “Negotino” (210 MW) – was built in 1978. This power plant is used as a spare capacity within the power system of the country. The second is TPP “Oslomej” (125 MW) which was built in 1980 and TPP “Bitola” with three units, called blocks, with a total installed capacity of 630 MW, of which the latter was put into operation in 1988. TPP “Oslomej” and TPP “Bitola” use coal as a fuel and together make up to 70% of the total domestic electricity production.
With the new trends in electricity generation in Macedonia, investments in renewable energy sources have started. In 2014, the wind park in Bogdanci was put into operation, with an installed capacity of 36.8 MWh, and it can supply electricity for one city of the size of Gevgelija, Dojran or Bogdanci.