March 13, 2024 – The cooperative ZEZ Sun raised 140,000 euros in member shares in just ten days after the opening of its first call for members, thus securing the entire investment for a solar power plant owned by citizens at the City of Križevci’s City Market. As members of the ZEZ Sun, individuals and legal entities will become co-owners of its solar power plants and generate yields. ZEZ Sun is inspired by community energy initiatives operating across Europe, which are also encouraged by the European Union in the form of energy communities. In practice, ZEZ Sun represents the first example of an energy community in Croatia.

The first call for members of ZEZ Sun opened on March 1 with the support of the Green Energy Cooperative, the City of Križevci and the energy cooperative KLIK. Until March 11, 108 citizens responded, of which 93 new and 15 existing members of the cooperative. In the first seven days since the opening of the call, the citizens of Križevci and surrounding municipalities had the advantage of membership and investment, and have provided a quarter of the necessary funds, i.e. 33,000 euros, while in just three days since the opening of the call for the rest of the country citizens from other cities provided the remaining 107,000 euros.

“We are delighted with the speed of response to our first call for members, that citizens recognize the value of this story and that they have given us a chance. We also call on cities across Croatia to cede city roofs to citizens and thus ensure that the value of solar energy, which is usable in every part of our country, is retained locally”, said Mislav Kirac, manager of the ZEZ Sun.

“Thank you to everyone who responded to the first call for membership in the energy cooperative ZEZ Sun and thus enabled the raising of funds for the construction of a solar power plant at the City Market. Citizens’ support of this project confirms that they have recognized the importance of the energy transition and decided to take the energy into their own hands. This is the inclusion that we promote in Križevci, that citizens voluntarily and without any pressure create their future. I am glad that Križevci was the first city in which a ZEZ Sun project was implemented, which confirms that we are the leader of the energy transition in Croatia. I would like our example to be followed by other municipalities and cities in Croatia because Croatia is full of potential for such projects, it just needs to be brave and catch the opportunity provided by renewable energy sources. Križevci recognized this opportunity, and with the support of its inhabitants, energy independence is becoming  reality”, said Mario Rajn, mayor of Križevci.

The installation and commissioning of a 200 kW solar power plant at the City Market in Križevci is planned for autumn 2024. ZEZ Sun will sell energy on the market, of which part of the realized profits will be distributed to members, while a part will be invested in community projects. The long-term goal is that members can use the energy produced by the cooperative’s solar power plants in their households or business facilities. ZEZ Sun will open calls for members periodically, after contracting new projects.

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