We are working on the construction and supervision of WF Kostolac, WF Pupin and PV Park Saraorci

Marko Aleksić is currently engaged in the construction of several RES projects in Serbia. He leads the teams involved in the business management of construction of three large RES projects: WF Kostolac, WF Pupin and PV Park Saraorci. He has completed and improved his long-term experience in the field of construction in the last three years since he has been working at the company New Energy Solutions. Marko’s dedicated work and increased workload in the company resulted in the formation of a special department for construction management within the engineering sector that he manages. The executive function, the body of work and projects he manages, as well as the international experience he has nominated him for the Golden Interview of RES SERBIA.

Currently, as a company and an individual, you are involved in the construction of three projects – WF Kostolac, WF Pupin and PV Park Saraorci. What is the role of New Energy Solutions and you personally in those projects?

– We are currently focused on the construction of the new Kostolac wind farm, where our team is engaged in the role of expert supervision. Also, we have recently been engaged in project management and supervision over the construction of the WF Pupin. In addition, we manage the PV Park Saraorci construction project, and we have several projects in the preparation phase for construction. On each of the mentioned projects, our company, in cooperation with partner companies, plays a significant role in the plant construction process, which is reflected either through expert construction supervision or in the management of contracts with contractors or through other consulting services according to client requirements during the complete plant construction process.

What is the strength and value of those projects? What do they mean for the electric power system of Serbia, and what for your company’s portfolio?

– All new RES plant projects contribute to the increase of the share of green energy in the total capacities of the energy system. All these projects are extremely important to us, regardless of their value and strength. Given that the company New Energy Solutions was predominantly involved in the development of projects and the maintenance and management of built RES plants in the previous period, it is extremely important for the company to increase its participation in the construction phase of RES plants and thus be involved in all phases of the RES projects, from development, through construction, to maintenance and management.

When is the completion of the WF Pupin construction expected?

– WF Pupin represents the second phase, i.e. the expansion of WF Kovačica, which was built in 2019 and consists of the construction of 16 wind generators with a total capacity of 94.4 MW. The implementation of the project, which implies complete construction and testing, is planned for the first quarter of 2025.

New Energy Solutions is a leader in the field of wind energy, but until now you have not been active in solar. Taking into account the engagement at PV Park Saraorci, from the perspective of the work you do, can you compare the challenges faced by investors and contractors who build wind farms and those who work on solar farms?

– While administrative challenges are common to almost all projects, technical challenges during construction are specific to each project. The infrastructure and conditions of the location where the facility is planned dictate the project solutions and the construction itself. From the aspect of building wind power plants, they are certainly more complex and demanding projects, which of course does not mean that the construction of solar power plants is simple and without its characteristics. It is important to note that with careful planning, development and preparation of projects, it is possible to significantly influence the more efficient phase of the construction itself.

Bearing in mind that you are very active on the market, can you tell us how involved the domestic construction industry is in the realization of RES projects?

– Domestic design and construction companies have been engaged to a certain extent in the implementation of projects since the beginning of the construction of RES power plants in Serbia. Now, the construction of wind power plants and solar power plants in Serbia is not new and a large number of domestic companies are in the capacity to offer their services for the construction of some part of these plants.

You have been employed at New Energy Solutions for three years. During that period, the company recorded constant growth and development. What does the formation of the department you manage mean, what tasks does it perform? What is your personal role in this?

– Managing the construction management department is very challenging, especially in a fast-growing company like NES, but also an opportunity to establish a system for the implementation of RES projects, which will bring high-quality services to our clients and help them overcome various challenges during construction.

My role in the company was to coordinate the engineering staffing needs with the expansion activities of the company, which led to the formation of a separate department. During this process, we formed a team of quality engineers that is constantly growing, and we also have long-term cooperation with several carefully selected consultants.

You have international experience in the construction of wind farms. How much does that experience mean to you in working at NES and on the Serbian market? What part of the expertise can you implement now in your work?

– International experience was very important for broadening my horizons. At New Energy Solutions, we have several managers and engineers with rich international experience, which brings special quality and the highest standards in the implementation of complex projects.

Are there any differences in the demands and expectations of investors in Serbia and on the international scene?

– The demands and expectations of investors are largely very similar. In the end, all investors want the project to be realized in the required quality, within the projected budget and within the agreed deadlines. What differs are markets and regulation, which can sometimes make it easier or harder to implement projects.

Managing complex processes has marked your career. How do you foster a culture of innovation and excellence in your team to successfully navigate these complex situations?

– It all starts with promoting a collegial environment that supports communication and exchange of views. In our team, colleagues support each other. Recognizing and acknowledging the efforts of each team member is also key to progress and development. Complex projects require a team made up of experts from different profiles where each team member is important for achieving the goals. Organization, communication, support, knowledge, experience and integrity are necessary prerequisites for the successful implementation of the project.

What are the future plans of NES and the department you manage?

Our vision is to be recognized as a leading consultant for projects in the renewable energy sector, to use the experience gained in project development and from the operational phase of projects as added value to help our clients build facilities that will exceed their expectations.