TIRANA (Albania), April 2 (SeeNews) - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said it will extend a 9.1 million euro ($10.7 million) loan to Albanian state-owned power utility Korporata Elektroenergjitike Shqiptare (KESH) for the construction of a floating photovoltaic (PV) plant.
The loan, to be provided on a commercial basis to a special-purpose vehicle set up by KESH for the purpose of the project, will finance the construction of the 12.9 MW floating solar farm, the first floating PV plant of this size in Albania and the Western Balkans, and contribute to the commercialisation of KESH, the EBRD said in a statement on Thursday.
The plant will be situated on the surface of KESH's water reservoir of the Vau and Dejes hydropower plants, in the northern part of the country.
The new energy facility will contribute to making KESH more resilient to climate-induced risks in relation to hydrology and seasonality, the EBRD said.
KESH owns and operates three large hydropower plants with a total capacity of 1,350 MW that produce almost 70% of Albania's electricity.
The bank noted that the project also aligns with Albania's broader ambition to develop its solar capacity, which has resulted in two successful EBRD-backed auctions: the 140 MW Karavasta project and the 100 MW Spitalle project.
"The project is remarkable because of its innovative technology, positive environmental impact and commercial logic. It also has the potential to be replicated in the broader Western Balkans region, which has many hydropower reservoirs," Francesco Corbo, EBRD Regional Head of Energy for the Western Balkans, said.
($ = 0.8491 euro)