The Milan-listed company has been working through Romanian partner Eoliana to gain the authorisations and will fund the wind farm investment through its own financial resources and project financing.
Alerion Clean Power also specialises in biomass and solar power. Romania is becoming the most dynamic country in the region in the development of wind power.
“Romania is the fastest growing market for wind energy in this region and has the largest potential,” says regional wind energy network European Wind Energy Association (EWEA)’s regulatory affairs advisor Jacopo Moccia.
Along with the Czech Republic’s energy firm CEZ and Austria’s energy group OMV, interest in Romanian wind power is strong among domestic investors and those from Italy, Spain and Portugal.
By the end of 2013, 1,800 MW could be installed and, in the most optimistic scenario, this could even rise to 3,300 MW. “By 2013 over 7.5 per cent of Romania’s electricity demand could be covered by wind,” says Dana Duica, executive director at the Romanian Wind Energy Association (AREE).
Each MW of installed wind power needs an investment of between 1.5 and 1.6 million Euro, so the total value of investment in wind energy in Romania could amount to between 2.7 and five billion Euro by 2013.
Romania has been running a Green Certificate system since 2005 and will continue with this scheme until 2020 and, potentially, beyond 2025. This scheme is an annual quota of certificates energy suppliers must buy from renewable energy producers. The more certificates a renewable power producer has to sell, the more cash the producer could gain from the scheme.
Since November 2008, the Czech utility company CEZ Group has been installing one of Europe’s largest wind power plants in Fantanele, transforming the wind into a blessing: Fantanele farmers who have made their land available to CEZ can receive up to $3,800 a year.
CEZ Group’s project was launched 18 months ago and the first stage was competed this year, with 115 wind turbines installed out of the planned 139 and ready to be connected to the Romanian electric grid.
The world leader in the sector, the Spanish group Iberdrola, has opened an office in Bucharest and announced that it is ready to invest about $2.5bn in a wind farm, also near the Black Sea. It is earmarked to be the largest onshore wind energy project in the world.