Romania solar still attracting investment despite green certificate cut



Portuguese renewable energy developer, EDP Renováveis (EDPR), has secured €30 million (US$41 million) in project finance for 50MW of Romanian PV, despite recent cuts to the county's solar incentives.

Europe financial investor, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), is to provide €20 million (US$27 million), and the international investment institution, Black Sea Trade Development Bank (BSTDB) is to provide €10 million (US$13 million).

The €30 million is to go towards the construction and operation of six PV pants totalling 50MW.

The 50MW of PV is in operation in the south of Romania, in Oltenia, Walachia.

The financial transactions are to be complete by July 2014.

The PV plants will benefit from Romania’s green certificate scheme. Currently each megawatt of energy generated from renewables can be traded for a 'green certificate' in Romania, with up to three certificates supplied, cut from a six-certificate allowance, as of January 2014.  

With this latest deal, EDPR said it would have secured project worth over €505 million (US$694 million) in Eastern Europe across seven separate deals.

EDPR said the addition of the 50MW project portfolio was a reinforcement of its commitment to renewable energy projects in Eastern Europe, and its plans to spur economic development through “rigorous investment” in the region.

According to EDPR Romania’s energy sector is still very active in investment. “The financing of the EDPR solar project is the third transaction completed in Romania’s energy sector since the beginning of 2014,” said Riccardo Puliti, EBRD managing director for energy and natural resources. 

“Including the EDPR Solar project, we have already invested close to €200 million in the Romanian energy sector this year,” added Puliti.

BSTDB has been steadily increasing its exposure in Romania, and as part of a government agreement, “energy and infrastructure are priority sectors” said Mustafa Boran, BSTDB’s vice president banking.

EDPR also announced last month it is constructing a 30MW solar power plant in San Bernardino County, California with engineering, procurement and construction company (EPC), Abengoa. The project is scheduled to be finished by 2014, and will power 5,000 homes.

Installed solar in Romania currently totals 1.158GW of capacity.

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