The 158 MW Čibuk 1 wind farm will consist of 57 turbines and produce up to 457 GWh of electricity per year. It is planned to be completed by the end of 2018 and will be the largest commercial wind energy project in Serbia and the Western Balkans.
The wind farm is being developed by Vetroelektrane Balkana, owned by Tesla Wind which is a joint venture between Masdar, a renewable-energy company based in Abu Dhabi, and Čibuk Wind Holding, a subsidiary of the US-based wind-energy developer Continental Wind Partners.
The Cabinet of Aleksandar Vučić, President of Serbia, issued a statement highlighting that the project is expected to bring electricity to around 113,000 households and will reduce gas emissions by more than 370,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.
Harry Boyd-Carpenter, EBRD Director of Power and Energy Utilities, commented: “The Čibuk wind farm is a breakthrough for Serbia as the country works to meet its commitment to producing 27 per cent of domestic power needs from renewable energy sources by 2020. The EBRD has worked closely with the government to develop and refine the regulatory framework for the sector and these efforts have now unlocked job-generating foreign investment and the first wave of renewable-energy projects.”
Thomas Lubeck, IFC’s Regional Manager for Central and Southeastern Europe said “This project highlights IFC’s creating markets strategy, paving the way for other renewable energy projects. It is a result of our cooperation with all stakeholders and our work with Serbia’s government to improve relevant bylaws and the model power purchase agreement, IFC is a global leader in facilitating cross border investments and our support for renewable energy is a key part of our work to help mitigate climate change.”
“We would like to thank the government of Serbia, Mubadala Investment Company, as well as the lenders, advisors, and all the other parties involved in reaching this critical milestone. The development of the largest wind farm in the Western Balkans is a pivotal moment for the expansion of renewables in the region and positions Serbia at the forefront of Europe’s fastest-growing alternative energy sector” said Yousif Al Ai, Chairman of Tesla Wind.
The construction of the wind farm will create 400 jobs in the area and contribute to improvements in local infrastructure with, for example, the construction of 50 km of roads.