EBRD supports KESH’s first floating photovoltaic solar power plant in Albania

Albania is making rapid progress on its plans to meet its renewable energy targets, with the construction of a 12.9 MW floating solar photovoltaic (PV) farm thanks to a € 9.1 million loan granted by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The farm will be the first floating solar power plant of this size in Albania and the Western Balkans.

The power station will be built on the reservoir of the Vau i Dejës hydroelectric power station, which is managed by Korporata Elektroenergjitike Shqiptare (KESH). It represents a breakthrough in innovative green technology, using Albania’s rich solar resources while avoiding the use of rare earths.

The EBRD loan will be provided for a special purpose vehicle owned by KESH and placed for the construction of the project. Structured as a project finance loan and granted on a commercial basis, the EBRD loan is the first such financing by an international financial institution and will help commercialize KESH, one of the largest utilities in the world. Albania.

KESH owns and operates three large hydropower plants with a total capacity of 1,350 MW which represent around 70% of Albanian national production. The new solar photovoltaic power plant will help make KESH more resilient to climate-induced risks with respect to hydrology and seasonality.

The project also aligns with Albania’s broader ambition to develop its solar capacity, which has resulted in two successful auctions supported by the EBRD and offering very competitive tariffs: the 140 MW Karavasta project and the Spitalle project. of 100 MW.

The EBRD has also mobilized € 315,830 to support project preparation, in particular the framework for the preparation and implementation of green economy projects financed by the Austrian government (the DRIVE Fund) and the Technical Cooperation Fund. TaiwanBusiness-BERD.

Francesco Corbo, EBRD Regional Energy Manager for the Western Balkans, said: “We are delighted to support this groundbreaking project, which is another important step in Albania’s successful campaign to increase solar capacity and improve its energy mix. The project is remarkable for its innovative technology, its positive environmental impact and its commercial logic. It also has the potential to be replicated in the wider Western Balkans region, which has numerous hydroelectric reservoirs. This is our first opportunity to fund floating solar PV technology and we look forward to many similar projects in the future. “

Besjan Kadiu, CEO of KESH, added: “The project is of particular importance to KESH. It positions the company as a contributor to Albanian and global initiatives to invest in renewable energy production using innovative photovoltaic technology compatible with hydropower production. Although small in size, the project not only provides opportunities for the further development of public generation assets on a solid commercial, technical and environmental basis, but also showcases the know-how needed to operate a hybrid hydro-photovoltaic system. . This is another great example of the ongoing partnership between the EBRD and KESH. “

The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Albania. To date, the Bank has invested over € 1.5 billion in loans in 110 projects across the country.

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Bernice Dyer

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