Masdar-led consortium opens wind farm in Serbia - GulfToday

Masdar-led consortium opens wind farm in Serbia


With a capacity of 158 megawatts (MW), the wind farm will provide sustainable, emissions-free power to 113,000 homes and displace more than 370,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

A consortium led by Masdar, a  subsidiary of Mubadala Investment Company and one of the world’s leading renewable energy companies, has on Friday inaugurated Čibuk 1, the largest utility-scale commercial wind project in Serbia and the Western Balkans.

The inauguration of the €300 million project was attended by  Aleksandar Vučić, President of the Republic of Serbia, Aleksandar Antić, Serbia’s Minister  of Mining and Energy, and other high-level government officials from both Serbia and the United Arab Emirates, including Dr Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, Mubarak Saeed Al Dhaheri, UAE Ambassador to Serbia, and Khaled Al Qubaisi, CEO of Aerospace, Renewables & ICT for Mubadala.

Built over a 37-square-kilometre site, 50km from the capital, Belgrade, Čibuk 1 comprises of 57GE  Renewable Energy’s 2.75-125 onshore wind turbines. With a capacity of 158 megawatts (MW), the wind farm will provide sustainable, emissions-free power to 113,000 homes and displace more than 370,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. That is the same amount of carbon sequestered by more than 6 million  trees.  

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Dr Al Zeyoudi said, “Through its compelling business case,  renewable energy has established itself as the new power generation technology of choice. With an investment of US$309 billion, 2018 saw the addition of 171GW to the global renewable energy generation capacity. The rise in the uptake of renewables is driven  by its increasing cost efficiency as well as growing calls for sustainability around the world. We are proud to share that the UAE’s renewable energy projects that are operational and underway have a combined capacity of 11.4GW, including 8.4GW within the  country and 3GW abroad.”

Dr Al Zeyoudi commended Masdar for its dedication to building a renewables-powered future in the  UAE and further afield.

Commenting on the launch, Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar, said, “Today’s inauguration of Čibuk 1 further strengthens the UAE’s partnership and cooperation  with Serbia and its government. Since Masdar’s establishment more than a decade ago, its mission has been to advance the clean energy sector and to provide sustainable, innovative solutions to the world’s energy needs. Today, that vision is being realized  through projects such as Čibuk 1, the biggest wind farm in the Western Balkans.”

Čibuk 1, which was awarded Deal of the Year at the Central Eastern Legal Awards 2018 and won the 2019 European Onshore Wind Energy Deal of the Year at the IJGlobal European Awards, was developed by Vetroelektrane  Balkana (WEBG), a Serbian company which is wholly owned by Tesla Wind, a joint venture between Masdar (60%), the Taaleri SolarWind I fund, managed by Finnish renewable energy infrastructure fund manager and developer Taaleri Energia (30%), and German development finance institution DEG - Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH (10%).

Mohamed Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar, said: “In collaboration with the Government of Serbia,  our fellow shareholders in Tesla Wind, the lenders, contractors and our many other partners, Masdar is proud to successfully  deliver the largest utility-scale commercial wind project in the Western Balkans.”

“Čibuk 1 is not only a bold statement as to Serbia’s long-term renewable energy ambitions and its commitment to modernise its power  sector, but also an investment in Serbia’s energy security. Together, we have delivered a truly outstanding project, a marvel of engineering that has created jobs and delivered lasting improvements in infrastructure. More than that, we have invested  in the foundation of Serbia’s renewable energy sector, helping to create a legacy that will support the development of future projects.”

Today’s inauguration of Čibuk 1 marks a turning point in the expansion of renewables in Central and Eastern Europe, one of the fastest growing emerging markets for clean energy.  

The project supports Serbia’s pledge to produce 27 per cent of its domestic power needs from renewable energy sources by 2020, while helping to reduce its dependence on coal-fired power generation.

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