The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has announced that two wind farms in Serbia, financed by the bank, will begin operations this year.
The two wind farms financed by EBRD include the Kovačica and Čibuk1 with 104MW and 158MW of generating capacity, respectively. For the Kovačica wind farm, the investment bank has provided €48.8m in loan to developer Enlight Renewable Energy.
To be powered by 38 turbines, the wind has already saw the installation of 20 of them.
For the Čibuk1 wind farm, the European bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC) have provided €215m syndicated loan. This wind farm is fully constructed and is powered by 57 turbines. Both the wind farms have started producing electricity and are now in the final phase before they can be officially connected to the grid.
The wind farms are estimated to produce enough clean electricity to be supplied to 180,000 Serbian households, while avoiding more than 600,000 tonnes of CO2 annually from entering the atmosphere, had the energy was generated from conventional sources.
EBRD Energy EMEA head Harry Boyd-Carpenter said: “Investment in renewable energy is at the core of our energy strategy. It is particularly important for the Balkan region, which until recently has depended heavily on coal for electricity generation.
“We are very pleased to see Serbia making such a strong commitment to renewables, and to have been able to support that commitment.”
In Serbia, electricity is largely supplied from ageing coal-power plants running on lignite, one of the dirtiest types of thermal coal. With wind projects such as these, the country is taking steps towards its objective of generating 27% of energy from renewable sources by 2020.
EBRD Western Balkans Regional Head Zsuzsanna Hargitai said: “The Čibuk and Kovacica windfarms are a breakthrough for Serbia’s renewable energy sector. The EBRD has worked closely with the government to develop and refine the regulatory framework for the sector and these efforts have unlocked the first wave of renewable energy projects.”