Romania expects to see its wind power capacity reach 545 MW by 2010

Romania’s potential for installed wind energy is standing at 545 Megawatts in 2010, according to the estimates of the Romanian Association for Wind Power (AREE), compared with 2009’s installed capacity of 14.1 Megawatts, AREE official Dana Duica told a conference on Thursday on weather and climate.

‘The 2009 installed wind power capacity stood at 14.1 Megawatts nationwide. AREE estimates indicate that the 2010 wind power may reach 545 MW and the same potential may surge to 2,000 MW in 2012,’ said Duica.

The main barriers slowing down the development of the wind energy sector in Romania, Duica said, are the legislative framework, the limits set up by Transelectrica for connection to the grid, the lack of cadstres for land acquisition, and red tape.

Under the implementation norms drawn up by the Romanian Ministry of Economy for Law 220/2008 establishing a system to promote electricity generation from renewable sources, mention is made of the possibility for investment projects in this area to qualify for financing from structural funds. The same extends to the generation of alternative energy.

Government Decision 1535/2003 promotes a strategy for the capitalisation on renewable energy sources that provides for a legal framework for the advocacy of such kind of energy. Estimates of the Economy Ministry show that Romania’s consumption of electricity generated from renewable sources will make up 33 percent of the country’s gross electricity consumption in 2010, which is nearly 11 percent of the total energy consumption.

Transelectrica will build a 400 KV electricity transmission line on the route Smardan-Vaslui-Iasi to transfer the wind power capacity installed in Moldova (country east), director of the Transelectrica Bacau power station Stefan Tibuleac told a press conference.

“Our target is to set in place a 400 KV electricity transmission line heading northwards from Smardan through the counties of Vaslui and Iasi and having the role of transferring the wind power installed in Moldova. Transportation lines in the eastern part of the country are of 110 KV,” said the Transelectrica representative.

“In 12 months, potential investors should perform the necessary measurements for wind energy generation. There haven’t been too many requests in this regard so far; expressed intentions account for a total capacity of several thousand MW,” he said.

As regards the Suceava – Balti power line, which will connect the grids of Romania and the Republic of Moldova, the Transelectrica representative said that the relevant feasibility study will be completed by the end of 2009.

As for the 400 KV power circuit in Bucharest, Transelectrica representatives said that they would discuss the carrying out of the project with ENEL and ANRE representatives.

The project consists of the re-engineering of four stations along the route, performed by the consortium that joins Germany’s Areva Energietechnik and Electromontaj Romania. The value of the contract was in excess of 24 million euros.

According to Transelectrica, this investment was a prerequisite for closing the 400 KV national energy ring, the next stage being the construction of a 400 KV line to Transylvania, an area with energy deficit.

According to Areva representatives, the projects carried out by the company in Romania so far amount to approximately 200 million euros and were aimed at upgrading electricity stations, the modernization of national energy operator OPCOM, upgrading Transelectrica’s optical fiber system, Termoelectrica and Hidroelectrica projects.

First wind turbines installed in Orsova

The first wind turbines in the wind farm under construction on Dranac hill (west), at an altitude of some 320 meters, situated in Orsova municipality perimeter, was finalized, mayor Constantin Bragaru told.

According to the mayor, a number of 24 wind turbines will be placed in this zone, which will capture the air currents power (minimum 6.5 meters/second), three of them being set to supply electricity to Orsova, two to Ilovita commune (Mehedinti County) and 19 to Toplet town (Caras Severin County).

The wind farm in Orsova, with an installed power of some 50 Megawatts, is to bring a monthly profit of 250,000 euros to beneficiaries. Total investment value to implement this project is up to 60 million euros, the price of a turbine ranging between 1.2 and 1.8 million euros.

The maximal electricity capacity produced in wind power plants, which can be integrated by Transelectrica energy transport company into the national grid until 2013, is of 2,000 megawatts (MW) installed power, said general manager of Transelectrica, Stelian Gal. In the long run, until 2020, Transelectrica can integrate into the national grid some 3,000 MW.

General manager of Transelectrica pointed out that at present the most significant project in this field is the installation of a wind power plant of some 600 MW in the first stage pending an expansion to over 2000 MW. The location of the power plant is in Dobrogea (eastern Romania) and the plant is made by Tomis Team. The power plant triggers the achievement of a new station by Transelectrica of 400 MW.

The largest area with wind turbines in Romania will be in the central county of Cluj, where wind turbines start spinning in 2009 at Marisel, 50 km from the county seat of Cluj Napoca.