Renewable energy developer Green Trust and wind turbine manufacturer Enercon are developing the 425 MW Lički Medvjed wind farm near the town of Otočac in the western part of Croatia. Within the project, they plan to establish a fund for local sustainable projects and offer the local population to become co-owners of the power plant under an energy cooperative.
The Lički Medvjed wind farm is currently the largest wind farm in the pipeline in Croatia. The largest one in operation is Senj, with a capacity of 156 MW.
Julije Domac, advisor to President of Croatia Zoran Milanović, said Lički Medvjed is not only the largest wind farm project in development in Croatia, but also the first that would create a fund to support local sustainable projects and initiatives. The fund is planned to allocate EUR 200,000 annually for the purpose.
The local population will be able to invest in the project through an energy cooperative and get a part of the profit
One interesting option is to offer the local population to participate in financing the project under an energy cooperative, and to get part of the profits of the wind farm, Domac wrote on Facebook, adding that the energy transition must not only be climate friendly but both fair and inclusive.
He said 500 people would be hired during the construction. When the works are completed, investors plan to employ 100 highly educated workers, Domac added.
The expected annual production is 1 TWh
Domac participated in President Milanović’s meeting with representatives of the Green Trust: director Jeroen Boerkamps, project manager of the Lički Medvjed wind farm Jorick Messink and the company’s manager for Croatia Goran Trška.
The firm’s officials said the investment is estimated at EUR 500 million and that the expected annual production is 1 TWh. According to them, the construction of the wind farm will improve the infrastructure in the area of Otočac. The project will require the construction of 25 kilometers of roads, as well as a new high-voltage network, they stressed.
Of note, Green Trust has developed wind farms in the Netherlands. It has offices in Croatia and Serbia. Enercon is one of the largest companies in the wind industry in Europe.
Croatia will soon announce auctions for premiums for wind farms and solar power plants.