Albania will soon be constructing its first floating solar photovoltaic (PV) farm with the help of the $10.7m (€9.1m) loan sanctioned by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
In line with Albania’s plans to meet renewable energy targets, the 12.9 MW floating solar PV farm will also be the first floating solar plant of this size in the Western Balkans.
The floating solar plant, representing a breakthrough in green technology, will be constructed on the Vau i Dejës hydropower plant reservoir, which is controlled by Korporata Elektroenergjitike Shqiptare (KESH).
The EBRD loan will be offered to a special-purpose vehicle of KESH that is created solely for the purpose of the project construction.
The EBRD loan is provided on a commercial basis in the form of a project finance loan and is the first of such funding by an international financial institution.
One of Albania’s biggest state-owned utilities, KESH owns and operates three hydropower projects totalling 1,350 MW, which account for most of Albania’s domestic generation.
EBRD West Balkans regional head of energy Francesco Corbo said: “We are delighted to support this ground-breaking project, which is another major step in Albania’s successful drive to boost solar capacity and improve its energy mix. The project is remarkable because of its innovative technology, positive environmental impact and commercial logic. It also has the potential to be replicated in the broader Western Balkans region, which has many hydropower reservoirs. This is our first opportunity to finance floating solar PV technology and we look forward to many similar projects in the future.”
KESH CEO Besjan Kadiu added: “The project is of special importance for KESH. It positions the company as a contributor to Albanian and global initiatives to invest in renewable generation using innovative photovoltaic technology that is compatible with hydropower generation. Although modest in size, the project holds opportunities not only for the further development of public generation assets on a strong commercial, technical and environmental basis, but also showcases the know-how that is required to operate a hybrid hydro-photovoltaic system. This is another great example of the ongoing partnership between the EBRD and KESH.”
As a leading institutional investor in Albania, EBRD has lent over €1.5bn to a total of 110 projects in the country.
One of Albania’s biggest state-owned utilities, KESH owns and operates three hydropower projects totalling 1,350 MW, which account for most of Albania’s domestic generation. Credit: www_slon_pics/Pixabay.