102.6 Mw wind farm in kosovo starts feeding electricity into the grid – largest direct investment since the country’s foundation

About 40 kilometers northeast of the capital Pristina, NOTUS energy has completed Kosovo's largest wind farm and rebuilt a substation in the mountains. The 27 wind turbines at the Selac wind farm provide electricity for more than 100.000 households, accounting for up to ten percent of Kosovo's electricity consumption.

The wind farm near the town of Mitrovica and the village of Bajgora (Bajgore) is an important milestone for Kosovo on the road to autonomous and renewable energy supply. "We are very proud to have been able to make a significant contribution to this outstanding project," says Heiner Roger, managing director of NOTUS energy, an independent power producer in Potsdam, Germany. Kosovo has relied almost exclusively on coal-fired power generation and electricity imports.

NOTUS energy, together with local partners, executed the permit planning, supported the financing and implemented the project as general contractor. This also includes cooperation with the authorities and the transmission system operator. The project was implemented by SOWI Kosovo llc. (sowikosovo.com) was initiated and has since been taken over by the investor Enlight Energy (enlightenergy.co.il) taken over.

Wind farm in the mountains on 1.800 meters

The 27 GE 3 wind turbines.8 – 137 (hub height 110 meters) have a capacity of 102.6 MW and are by far the largest wind farm in Kosovo. They are located about 40 kilometers north of Pristina in the southern foothills of the Kopaonik Mountains, which separates Kosovo from Serbia.

A special challenge was the transport and construction of the facilities at up to 1.800 meters above sea level in a remote, mountainous and barren landscape with an extension of 13 km and 23 km of road construction. "You only build a project like this once in a lifetime," say the civil engineers from NOTUS energy.

20 km high-voltage transmission line and substation built

At the site near the village of Bajgora, NOTUS energy has built a substation with a capacity of 120 MW to transform the wind farm's electricity to the 110 kV level. The substation is located at an altitude of 1.500 meters. From there, NOTUS energy built a 20-kilometer 110 kV overhead line to the feed-in point in the town of Vushtrria. NOTUS energy also renovated the substation in Vushtrria in the course of the project.

"The wind farm is an example of international cooperation in the renewable energy sector," says Heiner Roger. SOWI Kosovo initiated the wind farm as a Kosovar-German company. Main investor is the Israeli Enlight Energy (enlightenergy.co.il).

Investment of 170 million. Euro

The total investment amounts to 170 million. Euro. In the process, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) provided a loan of 58 million euros. Also involved are Erste Bank Austria and the Slovenian bank NLB. About one third is financed by the owners.

Due to the participation of the EBRD alone, the Selac wind farm meets particularly high standards in terms of environmental compatibility and the involvement of local people. In total, NOTUS energy has signed leases with more than 300 small landowners.

"The Selac wind farm is a very special project in many respects. It was initiated by a circle of friends of Kosovar and German entrepreneurs with a lot of perseverance. At the beginning of the project, not a single turbine manufacturer wanted to deliver to Kosovo because the country was too small a market. The situation on 1.800 meters is a further special feature for the construction and also for the future operation of the plants. We also experienced exceptional support from the German embassy in Pristina in Kosovo during implementation," explains NOTUS energy Managing Director Roger.

In accordance with the regulations in Kosovo, the official operation of the wind farm is scheduled to begin after the trial operation phase, which has now started, at 30. Start November 2021.

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