The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed its first loan to a company building and running photovoltaic plants in Poland, the bank announced Wednesday.
The EU bank will lend around €18 million to Energy Solar Projekty sp.z o.o., a subsidiary company of the Energy and Infrastructure SME (small and medium-sized enterprises) Fund, managed by the Lithuanian-based investment management company Lords LB Asset Management.
The funding will cover the construction and operation of 66 small-scale, independent photovoltaic (PV) plants.
Energy and Infrastructure SME Fund, established in 2016, focuses on investing in renewable energy, infrastructure and public-private partnership cooperation projects in the Baltics and Poland and aims to raise capital of up to €75 million.
With an average nominal capacity for each plant of less than or equal to 1 megawatt (MW), the total capacity will reach about 65.6 MW. This means the project could provide energy for the equivalent of 19,000 households.
“We welcome the EIB’s first-ever financing for a solar energy project in Poland”, Teresa Czerwinska, EIB vice-president, was quoted as saying.
According to the EIB, the total capacity of all newly built independent PV plants will produce approximately 68,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity in the first year and will help to reduce 47,000 tons of carbon dioxide each year.
The total installed capacity of all solar power plants in Poland is estimated to have reached around 1.3 gigawatts by the end of 2019.
Overseeing operations in Poland, Czerwinska noted the auction system introduced by the government has generated a lot of interest from domestic and international investors, as shown by the involvement of Lords LB Asset Management.
"This is the first concrete project financed by the EIB under a program loan dedicated to solar energy in Poland and approved in 2018. We hope more will come to life in the near future,” Czerwinska said.
The overall EIB financing made available under the 2018 program loan for solar energy projects in Poland totals around €100 million. The program loan supports land-based small and medium-sized PV plants in Poland.
By Ebru Sengul Cevrioglu