Kosovo, which largely relies on lignite (brown coal) for its electricity, will soon start benefiting from a cleaner supply of energy as the Bajgora wind farm project, the country’s largest, reaches financial closure.
Golder was commissioned to review the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), previously approved by the government of Kosovo, to ensure compliance with international standards and enable the financial closure to be reached. In a very short period, Golder prepared supplementary studies, coordinating a team of local and international experts, as well as all environmental management plans required.
At the end of 2019, the project reached financial closure as the senior debt, which totals €115 million (70% of the total project cost), was granted by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Erste Group and NLB Group.
“Our team played an instrumental part in completing the ESIA review, bringing it to the standard required by the EBRD in a very agile manner,” says Roberto Mezzalama, Principal at Golder in Italy. “We’re very proud to have supported this important sustainable development project and to be making a significant contribution to climate change mitigation in Europe, as the project will drive a reduction of 247,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.”
The Bajgora wind project is owned by SOWI Kosovo LLC, a joint Kosovo, German and Israel venture, and consists of three adjacent wind power projects near Mitrovica, in northern Kosovo. Once at full capacity, the three wind farms will generate 105MW of clean energy, which will be exported through a 19km transmission line to be developed as part of the project. The Bajgora wind farm will boost Kosovo’s renewable energy installed capacity to beyond 200MW, moving it closer to the country’s target of 400MW by 2026.