Financing for one of the largest wind power projects in mainland Europe, part-owned by Abu Dhabi's Masdar, has been agreed.
Due for completion in the first half of 2019, the EUR300 million ($352 million) 158 megawatt (MW) capacity Cibuk 1 wind farm will be the largest utility-scale commercial wind project in Serbia and the western Balkans.
Agreements for the financing of Cibuk 1 were signed in the presence of Aleksandar Vucic, President of the Republic of Serbia, Masdar said in a statement cited by state news agency WAM.
Vetroelektrane Balkana (WEBG), the project company behind Cibuk 1, is wholly owned by Tesla Wind, a 60:40 joint venture between Masdar, Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company and Cibuk Wind Holding.
"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," said Mohamed Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar.
"The development of the largest wind farm in Serbia and 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."
Covering an area of 37 square kilometres, Cibuk 1 will be built around 50 kilometres outside Belgrade in the autonomous province of Vojvodina.
Comprising 57 wind turbines, the project is expected to electrify an estimated 113,000 homes on delivery and displace more than 370,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.
Serbia has pledged to produce 27 percent of its domestic power needs from renewable energy sources by 2020, reducing the country’s dependence coal-fired power generation in line with European Union regulations.
On completion, Cibuk 1 will be Masdar’s fourth wind farm in Europe after the 630MW London Array, the world’s largest offshore wind farm in operation, the 402MW Dudgeon offshore wind farm in England, and Hywind Scotland, a 30MW floating wind power development situated near the coast of Aberdeenshire.