The facility will be the first floating solar plant of this size in Albania and the Western Balkans, and is designed to support KESH in diversifying its hydropower-dominated generation mix as well as help Albania meet its renewable energy targets, EBRD announced on 1 April.
The loan will be provided to a special-purpose vehicle owned by KESH and established for the purpose of the construction of the project. Structured as a project finance loan and provided on a commercial basis, the EBRD loan is the first such financing by an international financial institution and will contribute to the commercialization of KESH, one of Albania’s largest state-owned utilities.
The EBRD also mobilized €315 830 for the project preparation support, including from the green economy project preparation and implementation framework financed by the Austrian government (the DRIVE Fund) and from the Taiwan Business-EBRD Technical Cooperation Fund.
KESH owns and operates three large hydro plants with a total capacity of 1350 MW, which provide about 70 per cent of Albania’s domestic generation. The new solar PV plant will contribute to making KESH more resilient to climate-induced risks in relation 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 delivering highly competitive tariffs for the 140 MW Karavasta project and the 100 MW Spitalle project.
The EBRD noted that the project could be the first of many in the region given its “innovative technology, positive environmental impact and commercial logic. It has the potential to be replicated in the broader Western Balkans region, which has many hydropower reservoirs”. Francesco Corbo, EBRD Regional Head of Energy for the West Balkans said: “This is our first opportunity to finance floating solar PV technology and we look forward to many similar projects in the future.