€57.5m EBRD loan to build Kosovo’s biggest wind farm

By Vanora Bennett

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  • EBRD lends €57.5m to finance 105 MW Bajgora wind farm in northern Kosovo
  • Kosovo relies on coal for power; wind farms helping develop reliable, clean energy supply
  • When complete, Bajgora will represent about 10 per cent of Kosovo’s installed capacity

Kosovo, which relies for its energy on coal, will benefit from cleaner, more reliable energy from the biggest wind farm in the country, with the help of an EBRD loan of €57.5 million to finance the construction and operation of the 105 MW Bajgora wind farm in the north. This loan is half of the total required financing for the project, with a further 50 per cent being provided by Erste Group Bank and NLB Bank.

When complete, Bajgora will represent about 10 per cent of the country’s installed capacity and avoid 247,000 tonnes of CO2 a year, giving it a major climate change effect and attracting further investment.

The latest loan helps Kosovo move further towards its goal of decarbonisation and away from one of its biggest barriers to development, the lack of reliable access to electricity. This will be the largest generation project constructed in Kosovo since the 1980s and represents another major step forward in Kosovo’s energy transition.

This investment follows an EBRD loan of €18 million to supporting a commercial wind farm at Kitka in the east of Kosovo last June, as well as three years of work with the government on its policy for commercialising renewable energy before that.

More renewable energy will help address both the challenge of power cuts and pollution caused by the lignite coal powering Kosovo’s two existing main electricity plants.

The EBRD financing follows successful policy engagement with the authorities in Kosovo to refine the renewable offtake framework. These reforms were critical to unlock financing for renewable projects and are expected to attract significant investor interest to Kosovo. 

The funding for the Bajgora wind farm will enable its owners, Sowi Kosovo LLC, to build and operate a wind farm in the Mitrovica municipality. Sowi Kosovo LLC is majority-owned and controlled by Enlight Renewable Energy Ltd, an Israeli renewable energy producer and existing client of the EBRD.

The EBRD invested in the Kitka wind farm in June, after it had already begun operations, having been developed by the Turkish energy group Guris. Kitka is raising the annual national electricity generation by more than 1.4 per cent and reducing emissions by 81,000 tons of CO2 a year.

Kosovo‘s current energy strategy sets an ambitious target of introducing about 400 MW of renewable projects by 2026. Renewable energy capacity before Kitka was around 70 MW, almost exclusively from small hydropower plants.

The EBRD is aiming to make 40 per cent of its annual investments in the green economy by 2020.

To date, the EBRD has invested €411 million in 66 projects in Kosovo.

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