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Albania’s first wind farm and the ongoing transformation of the energy sector

The government of Albania will launch the first tender for the construction of utility-scale on-shore wind power plants, which will make a major contribution to improve the country’s future energy supply and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The tender, expected to be launched early in 2021, will be the first in a planned series of investments in wind energy projects and was supported by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) with the additional financial grant support of 650,000 euros provided by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

“We are delighted to expand our partnership with the Albanian authorities to start up the wind power sector, building on the successful experience with solar,” said Matteo Colangeli, EBRD Head of Albania. “We are confident that transparent and well prepared tenders for wind can deliver attractive energy prices and quality investors for Albania”.

Prospective bidders can propose projects with a minimum capacity of 30 megawatts (MW) and a maximum capacity of 75 MW. Through this tender process, the ministry will select projects totalling 150 MW that will receive support measures. The first wind power plants tender will diversify the country’s energy sources, increase its resilience to climate change and is expected to attract foreign investment.

“I am happy that this innovative energy auction in Albania will contribute to improve sustainable energy supply, enhance resilience to climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” added Patrik Meier, Deputy Head of Mission at the Swiss Embassy in Albania. “This is an inspiring model for promoting transparency, competitiveness and participation of the private sector which will trigger new initiatives for scaling-up renewable energy investments in the country.”

Right before Christmas, Prime Minister Edi Rama spoke about the ongoing radical transformation of the energy sector.

He recalled that work is already underway to construct the interconnection line between Albania and North Macedonia while, in the meantime, the interconnection line between Albania and Kosovo has just been made operational. For him, it is the beginning of a completely new era for the energy sector.

“We are also in the process of expanding the market and its integration with Italy and Montenegro, taking notice that energy networks are constantly growing both at home and abroad,” he underlined. “On the other hand, we can confidently talk about incredible accomplishments in terms of reducing losses in the distribution of electricity.”

Mr Rama also mentioned the signing of the agreement with the US government on the Skavica hydropower plant which will transform Albania into an electricity exporter.

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