The largest wind farm project in Serbia to date officially started its operations today in Kovačica, a small town in the north of the country. With a capacity of 104 MW the facility will produce electricity equivalent to annual demand of 60,000 households and reduce CO2 emissions by almost 250,000 tons per year.
The EBRD supported construction of the wind farm with a €49 million loan. Other financiers include Erste Group and Erste Bank Serbia, covered by Euler-Hermes ECA. Total project cost is €189 million. The investor is Enlight Renewable Energies of Israel.
Construction of the Kovačica wind farm started in 2017. In July 2019 the plant obtained privileged producer status and was fully connected to the grid. Following a successful trial period, the facility has now been inaugurated in the presence of Serbia’s Minister of Mining and Energy, Aleksandar Antić.
Zsuzsanna Hargitai, EBRD Regional Director of the Western Balkans, said: “Investment in renewable energy is at the core of our energy strategy. It is particularly important for the Western Balkans, a region which is dependent heavily on coal for electricity generation. We are pleased to see this significant project successfully completed and we hope that the project will serve as an encouragement to other investors interested in renewable energy in the region”.
Yair Seroussi, President of Enlight: „Enlight is a fast-growing Israeli company which operates in ten European markets. We feel that we have a strong partnership in Serbia and hope to continue to develop more projects in the region with the group of professionals, financiers and contractors and with our great local partners. In today’s time of climate crisis, clean energy is what we need to develop more.”
The Kovačica windfarm is a pioneering project for Serbia and illustrates the EBRD’s approach combining investment with policy engagement. Changes in the legal, regulatory and business environment attracted investors and allowed the EBRD to support a ground-breaking project. The project will also contribute to Serbia’s goal of raising the share of energy consumption from renewable sources to 27 per cent in 2020. To date, Serbia’s electricity supply is largely provided by ageing coal-fired plants fueled by lignite.
The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Serbia. The Bank has invested more than €5 billion across 250 projects in the country to date. The EBRD is supporting private-sector development and the transition towards a green economy, as well as investing in infrastructure to boost connectivity in the Western Balkans region.