A 300-megawatt (MW) grid-connection agreement between Romania’s grid operator Transelectrica, and a joint venture between GE (NYSE: GE) and German wind farm developer Prowind GmbH, is expected to aid in the expansion of Romania’s wind power sector.
The agreement is expected to pave the way for Prowind, a renewable energy provider, to build four wind farms in northeastern Romania. Prowind GmbH is a project developer for renewable energy. Based in Osnabrück, Germany, Prowind has designed, financed and constructed more than 20 wind energy, solar and biogas power plants in Germany.
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The wind power agreement covers the connection of the joint venture’s wind farms to Transelectrica’s new substation that is being built near the small town of Banca. The four projects are located in the hills of Vaslui County, a less populated agricultural area of northeastern Romania. Windelcon, a Romanian wind project development company, is conducting the local development efforts.
“Our wind farm projects in the Vaslui County will offer major benefits in terms of employment and tax revenues to help improve the quality of life and services for residents and businesses while also supporting Romania’s national economic and environmental goals,” said Johannes Busmann, founder and owner of Prowind GmbH.
The four wind farms are being developed as separate, special purpose companies (SPCs), with PWI serving as grid connection provider. Under Transelectrica’s grid connection agreement with PWI, the wind farms would supply up to 300 MW to the regional grid.
GE plans to supply a total of 120 of the company’s 2.5-100 class wind turbines for the four wind power plants, though the company has not made final the schedule for shipment, installation and commercial operation of GE’s wind turbines.
“This grid-connection agreement with Transelectrica is a significant step forward in GE and Prowind’s efforts to support the Romanian government’s renewable energy plans,” said Carmen Neagu, region executive of GE Energy for South East Europe.
“Grid interconnection agreements play a vital role in ensuring the transmission infrastructure is in place to allow Romania and other countries to meet their energy supply and environmental obligations.”
GE noted: “The projects are in line with Romania’s plans to produce 24 percent of its energy from renewable sources by the year 2020.
“The European Commission recently approved Romania’s plan to provide incentives for an increased use of renewable energy. With some of the strongest wind conditions in Europe, Romania has the potential to harness enough wind power to meet the electricity needs of one-quarter of the country’s 8 million households.”
According to GE, the GE-Prowind projects in Romania are part of GE’s broader strategy to supply its advanced wind power technology and services for a growing number of projects throughout Europe as various countries seek to meet their renewable energy production and emissions-reduction targets.
Nearly 500 of GE’s onshore 2.5 series wind turbines have been installed, primarily at projects in European countries including Romania, France, Holland, Turkey, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy and Poland.