The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said on Monday that it is leading the financing of Voltalia's 140 Megawatt (MW) solar plant in Albania, the largest in the country and estimated to cost 135 million euros ($149 million).
The bank, which is lending 29 million euros to an Albanian special-purpose vehicle owned by France's Voltalia, is anchoring the 99 million-euro financing structure required to develop the Karavasta plant in southwestern Albania, it said in a statement.
The project is co-financed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Albania, Privredna Banka Zagreb and Voltalia's own resources.
A result of Albania's first competitive auction for solar power following the introduction of the EBRD Renewable Energy Auctions Programme, the project is seen as a landmark utility-scale photovoltaic plant that can act as a model for others in the Western Balkans region, the bank said.
Voltalia, which won a 30-year contract in 2020, will providehalf of the power to the Albanian government for 24.89 euros permegawatt hour (MWh) and the other half will be sold on the openmarket, according to the deal.
Grzegorz Zielinski, the EBRD head of energy for Europe, said the project would contribute to the diversification of local generation sources and significantly increase the share of Albania's solar power generation, helping to reduce the effects of climate change.
Almost all of Albania's domestic electricity production ishydropower. Facing frequent droughts, the Balkan country haslaunched new projects to diversify electricity production. (Reuters)