Public power utility Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) and the German development bank KfW signed a loan agreement worth EUR 80 million to finance the construction of a 66 MW Kostolac wind farm. This will be the first wind power capacity in EPS’ portfolio, which is dominated by coal-fired power plants.
“The project is worth EUR 97 million in total, with EPS providing about EUR 15 million from its own funds. The start of construction is planned for 2019, and the first kilowatt-hours are anticipated in 2020,” EPS said in a statement on Wednesday.
The plan is to build 20 wind turbines at the location of the EPS’ coal-mine “TE-KO Kostolac” ash dump site. The expected annual production is 150 million kWh, which is enough to supply around 30,000 households.
KfW will also donate EUR 1 million to EPS. In accordance with the Bank’s rules, this money will be used to hire a consultant for planning and capacity management, additional bird and bat monitoring, and complementary environmental impact assessment.
Acting director of EPS, Milorad Grčić, said that the wind farm project reflects resolute steps by the company, the Serbian energy system, and Serbia towards meeting obligations to increase the share of renewable energy in total consumption.
Minister of Mining and Energy Aleksandar Antić said that the wind farm is not within the 500 MW wind energy quota approved for feed-in tariffs, but “a new quality” that contributes to the fulfillment of Serbia’s obligations.
He said that ongoing projects in Serbia’s energy sector are worth EUR 3 billion, of which the projects implemented by EPS amount to EUR 2 billion.
Arne Gooss, director of the German Development Bank’s office in Belgrade, said that the construction of the wind farm would reduce CO2 emissions by 120,000 metric tons.
Four locations for wind turbines
The loan repayment period is 15 years, with a 4-year grace period, and fixed interest rate of 0.85% annually.
Wind generators should be placed at four locations – Klenovnik, Ćirikovac, Petka and Drmno. The height of the wind turbine towers will be 117m, and the radius of the blades 63m, with the overall height of 180m.