“This wind farm is the greatest project in the world outside the United States,” proudly says Daniel Bene, Chief Executive Officer of CEZ.
CEZ connected the 216 wind turbines to the grid, thanks to which the Fantanele-Cogealac Wind Farm in Romania, with an installed capacity of 540 MW, surpassed its rival in Scotland, and has thus become the largest onshore wind farm in Europe.
“It is one of our best investments; the park is situated in a unique location – one of the two windiest areas in Europe,” adds Tomá Pleska, Distribution and Foreign Assets Division Director. Indeed, since its launch, although in an incomplete set-up, the wind farm has generated 655.9 GWh of power over the first nine months of the year, which basically means it supplied electricity to more than 600,000 households in Romania.
More wind turbines are being connected to the grid every day. All 240 of them should be up and running by the end of this year, bringing the total installed capacity to 600 MW. “Turbines are erected and connected to the grid according to the plan,” assures Ondejafá, Fantanele-Cogealac Project Manager, adding.
“When we started the project, Romania had wind turbines with a mere 14 MW of installed capacity, so we basically became pioneers in terms of such major projects.” CEZ has thus significantly contributed to a greater green energy production in Romania. Last year, with the wind farm in its portfolio, CEZ held more than 40% of the market in green certificates in Romania.
The Fantanele-Cogealac Wind Farm is situated in an area of 12 by 6 kilometres in the Romanian province of Dobruja, only 17 kilometres from the shore of the Black Sea. The park uses GE wind turbines with an installed rated capacity of 2.5 MW per unit. The wind turbine hub is 100 metres high with a rotor diameter of 99 metres. This is state-of-the-art wind turbine technology in terms of efficiency, operational reliability, and grid connection parameters.
The ?EZ Group acquired the project for the construction of the Fantanele-Cogealac wind park from Continental Wind Partners LLC in August 2008. The first turbine was then launched on 1 June 2010 at 5:25 p.m. sharp. The total investment of the ?EZ Group in this project will reach some EUR 1.1 billion (CZK 27 billion). The return on investment is high in this case; in the first half of 2012 alone, the Fantanele-Cogealac Wind Park contributed with CZK 0.7 billion to the ?EZ Group’s overall financial results.
The CEZ Group is going to capitalise on the experience of building the Fantanele-Cogealac Wind Park, including the best experts from Romania, also for an Eco-Wind project that is in the pipeline in Poland. In line with its new strategy, in December 2011 ?EZ acquired a majority stake in a leading Polish wind park developer, ECO-WIND Construction Poland. This company has 15 projects in its portfolio in various stages of development, with their total installed capacity at some 700 MW. The CEZ Group continues to analyse further opportunities for investing in renewable sources abroad.