The new energy cooperative “Apsyrtides” was established in Cres in the Palace of Moise on April 30th, 2021.

It was a successful day for Cres and Lošinj islanders and island stakeholders who have been working together towards a clean energy transition. Led by the initiative of the island development agency OTRA and its head Ugo Toić, and with the expert support of the Island Movement, today’s establishment of an energy cooperative is based on the principles of association and cooperation of all stakeholders – representatives of local self-government units, entrepreneurs, and representatives of educational institutions and citizens. Mr. Kristijan Jurjako, mayor of Cres, opened the founding assembly of the cooperative attended by 29 founders, private and legal entities from the islands of Cres and Lošinj.

Among the founders, we highlight the City of Cres, the City of Mali Lošinj, the Utility Company Cres/Lošinj, Cresanka D. D., the Agricultural Cooperative Cres, the Elementary School Frane Petrića Cres, Racica D.O.O., Dražica D.O.O., the Island Movement and 20 private citizens, mostly coming from the area of the Cres-Lošinj archipelago. This diversity among founders is what makes the energy cooperative Apsyrtides unique. It is also the first cooperative on Croatian islands to implement the clean energy transition strategy of the Cres-Lošinj archipelago. The cooperative and its activities will serve as an example for other islands and communities that want to move towards a transition led by energy communities.

The establishment of the cooperative is a natural continuation of a story that started two years ago. In 2019, the Clean Energy for EU Islands Secretariat, with the European Commission’s support, selected the archipelago for a pilot program. The new EU rules put citizens/ consumers at the center of the transition. It enables them to play an active role in initiating the energy transition and making full use of a less centralized, more digitalized, and more sustainable energy system.

“We are proud to have included stakeholders from the public and business sectors, civil society organizations and numerous private citizens from the Cres-Lošinj islands in our new energy cooperative. We believe that this is the right way to carry out the transition. It truly connects the entire island community from residents to city authorities, entrepreneurs, associations and cooperatives.”, said the newly elected Speaker of the Assembly, Mr. Ugo Toić. Franjo Toić, the newly elected Cooperative Manager, presented some of the first and most important projects that the cooperative plans to launch. These include a joint investment of cooperatives and development of a solar power plant on the principle of “crowd investment” with the support of Mr. Albert Jedrejčić, who is the initiator of the project, and whose project value is estimated at HRK 3.5 million. Also, the development of a solar power plant on the roof of a kindergarten and the joint development of projects in cooperation with the head of energy transition on Korčula,
Mr. Ivan Zoković.

In addition to the President of the Assembly and the Administrator, at the founding session of the Assembly, a five-member Supervisory Board and a three-member Committee on Membership Affairs were elected. All decisions were taken unanimously, and all founders were invited to pay the founding stake by 12 May at the latest to formally register the cooperative with the Commercial Court.

All participants and founders of the cooperative expressed their satisfaction and pride in founding the cooperative. They have supported this initiative, important not only for the Cres-Lošinj archipelago but also for all islands in Croatia. Special thanks went to the Jedrejčić family, Mayor Kristijan Jurjak, Deputy Mayor Marin Gregorović, and head of the OTRE Ugo Toić for recognizing the idea of developing a solar power plant and supporting the establishment of an energy cooperative for joint investments.

Photo: Mirna Dalić (Island Movement)