Serbia pushes for green power in first wind project between state-owned EPS and Siemens Gamesa

Source: press release, 20 May 2022

photo: SGRE
photo: SGRE

Serbia will receive a new renewable boost in the coming years from a 66 MW contract to supply state utility EPS’ first wind project in the country. In fact, the Kostolac site will sit on former coal mining land, marking a fresh transition towards green energy.

The Kostolac wind project is also a first for Siemens Gamesa in the country, which will provide 20 SG 3.3-132 turbines to this site in the east of Serbia. The turbines have a rated power of up to 3.65 MW and when installation is complete in 2024 these will be the most powerful in the country. The contract covers the turnkey construction of the wind farm including Civil and Electrical Balance of Plant with sub-station.

For EPS, this is a major milestone in its history as the state power producer marking its first wind power project expanding its power sources beyond coal, thermal and hydro.

“The deal marks many firsts for both EPS and Siemens Gamesa, and we are committed to working closely with them to ensure a successful installation. When complete, the Kostalac project will provide a huge boost to renewable power in the country helping the local economy and the energy transition in the Balkans,” says Clark MacFarlane, CEO of Siemens Gamesa’s NEME region.

The contract was also important as it was the first wind project in Serbia financed by German development bank KfW. This is now the fourth wind park financed by KfW in the region to be implemented by Siemens Gamesa.

“Working on behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ), KfW financed some of the first wind farms in the Western Balkan region to promote the energy transition towards a more diversified and decarbonised electricity generation. The wind farm Kostolac represents a very important milestone for the Strategic Cooperation on Climate between Serbia and Germany,” says Stephan Opitz, Member of the Managing Board of KfW Development Bank.

EPS’ Acting Director of Electric Power Industry of Serbia, Miroslav Tomašević, also welcomed the news. He says, “The construction of Kostolac Wind Farm represents a huge step for EPS on its way towards increasing renewable energy sources share in the generation mix and securing the energy security of Serbia. I expect that our first wind park will be constructed within the deadlines, and I am certain that the field works will start over the following months. We will continue to develop renewable energy sources projects at EPS’ locations including not only wind projects but solar as well.”

At present Serbia has around 400 MW of installed wind capacity. Wind association WindEurope expects this to grow significantly in the coming years as the government plans to hold new auctions for more renewable energy. It estimates that every turbine installed in Europe today generates around EUR 7 million in economic benefits, which would have a major impact on a country such as Serbia and help to develop a local supply chain.