The EBRD is providing an equity investment of €18.85 million to Freenergy AS, a leading Estonian investor in renewable energy in eastern Europe, to boost the volumes of green energy generated in the Baltic states.
By taking a 35 percent stake in Freenergy, the EBRD will support the company’s plans to upgrade and further develop the current portfolio of 15 wind farms, which are managed by Nelja Energia OÜ. Eleven of the farms are situated in Estonia, three in Lithuania and one in Latvia.
Upon completion, the 15 wind farms will have a combined capacity of 330 megawatts, nearly tripling the current wind power capacity in the region. These increased volumes of wind power would be able to cover roughly 3 percent of the current total electricity consumption in the Baltics.
Currently less than one percent of Estonia’s power consumption comes from renewable sources, while Lithuania relies on green sources for around four percent of its electricity needs. Due to wide availability of hydro resources, Latvia is a leader in the region with over 40 percent of consumed power coming from renewables.
This project will help the three Baltic states improve their energy security by reducing dependency on imports. Increasing generation of renewable energy is also an EU requirement for the three countries.
In addition, Freenergy’s wind farms will help the region to mitigate the issue of power capacity shortage after the closure of the Ignalina nuclear power plant, on which the region is currently highly dependent.
“Promoting renewable energy generation is one of the EBRD’s key priorities in the Baltics. This project will make the region less dependent on energy imports and will set an example of successful business in green energy generation”, said Peter Reiniger, EBRD’s Business Group Director for Central and Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans.
Recently the EBRD has provided financing for wind farms in Turkey, Poland and Bulgaria and the Bank will continue to support similar projects in across the region of its operations.
“We would like to thank the EBRD for helping to bolster generation of green energy in the Baltics. The Bank’s support demonstrates that Freenergy has a strong portfolio of projects, which are attractive even in current tight credit markets”, added Kalle Kiigske, Member of the Management Boards of Freenergy and Nelja Energia OÜ, during the signing ceremony.
Since the beginning of the EBRD’s operations in the Baltics, the Bank has invested over €1 billion in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, implementing a total of 115 projects in corporate, financial, energy and infrastructure sectors.