BELGRADE Serbia and Italy have agreed feed-in tariffs for electricity produced from renewable sources in the Balkan country, Serbia's Infrastructure Ministry said on Monday.
The deal will guarantee Serbia the price of 155 euros ($215.4) per megawatt hour and be signed in Rome on Tuesday by Serbia's Infrastructure Minister Milutin Mrkonjic and his Italian counterparts, the ministry said in a statement.
"The Italian government will ... pay one of highest feed-in tariffs in the European Union," the statement said. "With this, Serbia's budget will secure significant revenues."
Serbia and Italy signed wider energy deals in 2009 and earlier this year worth a total 1.1 billion euros ($1.5 billion) to boost the share of renewables in their energy output and alleviate shortages.
Serbia's state-run utility EPS and Italy's company Seci Energia will jointly build three hydropower plants worth about 819 million euros and with a combined capacity of 365 megawatts on the Drina river, just outside Bosnia, by 2014.
The 2009 deal envisions construction worth 300 million euros to build 10 small hydropower plants on the Ibar river in Serbia's southwest with a combined capacity of 103.2 MW.
The electricity will be exported to Italy via Montenegro and an underwater cable across the Adriatic Sea, the ministry said.
The plants on the Drina and Ibar rivers will help Italy derive 17 percent of its power consumption from renewable sources by 2020.
($1 = 0.720 Euros)
(Reporting By Aleksandar Vasov; editing by Jason Neely)