The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the government of Georgia have inaugurated the first wind power plant in Georgia and the Caucasus region.
In a landmark project for Georgia’s energy sector, the EBRD is supporting the first commercial wind power plant in the South Caucasus in the Gori municipality in central Georgia. It will set a benchmark in terms of developing, building and operating a greenfield renewable energy project.
The EBRD has arranged a US$22 million syndicated loan to the company Qartli Windfarm LLC, subsidiary of JSC Georgian Energy Development Fund and Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation, for the development, construction and operation of the wind farm. The Bank itself is providing a US$10 million tranche (the A loan), and the remaining US$12 million B loan has been syndicated to the Dutch impact investors OIKOCREDIT, Ecumenical Development Co-operative Society U.A; Triodos Groenfonds N.V.; and the Luxembourg-based Green for Growth Fund (GGF). Each has a US$4 million portion.
The wind farm will have a total installed capacity of 20.7 MW and an expected annual electricity output of 85 GWh. It will foster low carbon generation and cover Georgia’s seasonal demand during the winter, while one-third of the power is expected to be sold to Turkey on a commercial basis. As the first wind farm in Georgia, it is expected to act as a model for other investments in this sector and support the diversification of the country’s renewable resources.
The EBRD has also facilitated technical assistance funds that will help the Georgian government to design and implement an electricity trading platform, along with a solar resource assessment and mapping.
Aida Sitdikova, EBRD Director for Energy and Natural Resources in Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia, said:
“The EBRD stands ready to support Georgia in promoting renewable energy sources and this project confirms our determination to continue making significant investments in renewable energy. This is important in terms of energy security as well as mitigating the impact of climate change. After having invested more than US$ 336 million in Georgia’s energy sector, we are now hoping to make another renewable source – wind – attractive for investors.”
To date, the EBRD has invested over US$3.45 billion in Georgia’s economy, and 37 per cent of the Bank’s existing portfolio is in energy. Investments made by the Bank in transmission lines have opened up export markets to Georgia’s renewable energy and attracted private investors to the sector.