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EBRD finances its first solar energy project in Romania

By Viktorija Melohina

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) continues to invest in renewable energy production in Romania, with its first financing of a solar energy project in central and south-eastern Europe.

EDP Renováveis (EDPR), a global leader in the renewable energy sector, will receive a loan of €20 million towards the construction and operation of six solar photovoltaic (PV) parks totalling 50 MW in the southern Romanian region of Oltenia. A parallel facility of €10 million will be provided by the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB).

Solar PV generates electricity in over 100 countries and is one of the fastest-growing power-generation technologies. The current solar energy capacity of Romania is 1,158 MW, equivalent to providing electricity for over 100,000 homes.

This is the fourth joint project between the EBRD and EDPR in Romania, following earlier investment in three wind farm projects. So far, the EBRD has provided finance for the construction and operation of five wind farms in the country.

During a recent visit to Bucharest, Riccardo Puliti, EBRD Managing Director for Energy and Natural Resources, praised the successful cooperation on energy with the Romanian authorities.

“The financing of the EDPR solar project is the third transaction completed in Romania’s energy sector since the beginning of 2014. Including the EDPR Solar project, we have already invested close to €200 million in the Romanian energy sector this year.”

Mr Puliti stressed that cooperation was not limited to providing finance but also involved the EBRD working with the Romanian authorities to support the development of the country’s energy strategy and legislative initiatives.

"The success in completing this financing agreement is once again a third party assessment of EDPR competences in developing quality assets", said Rui Teixeira, CFO of EDP Renováveis. "EDPR strategy encompasses adding quality assets to its portfolio and maintaining a sound financial position, and third-party financing - through a strong relationship with the consortium of banks - supports EDPR strategy".

“BSTDB is happy to start cooperation with EDPR, and to partner again with the EBRD in investing in the Black Sea region. BSTDB has been steadily increasing its exposure in Romania, and energy and infrastructure are priority sectors as agreed with the Romanian Government”, said Mustafa Boran, BSTDB Vice President Banking.

Since the start of its operations in Romania the EBRD has invested €169 million in developing the country’s renewable energy market.

In addition to the EDPR solar park, the Bank has also financed solar energy projects in Ukraine.

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