The Bogoslovec wind farm supported by GGF is a model for green energy investment in the Balkans

BNB Kompani and the Green for Growth Fund celebrated the opening of the Bogoslovec wind farm. This is the second wind farm in North Macedonia. GGF said Bogoslovec, its first capital investment, provides a model for future renewable energy projects.

BNB Kompani and the Green for Growth Fund (GGF), advised by Finance in Motion, have launched their second wind farm in North Macedonia. It is located approximately 80 kilometers southeast of the capital Skopje, in the commune of Sveti Nikole.

Bogoslovec, with a total project value of EUR 61 million, is GGF’s first capital investment. The fund became a minority shareholder of the Thor Impex project company. It may open the way for other similar projects, as the top representatives of the fund emphasized, it should serve as an example for future projects.

GGF dealing with green energy investments in the Western Balkans

GGF, established in 2009 and advised by Finance in Motion, also financed the Karavasta and Blue 1 solar power plants in neighboring Albania. Underlines the fund’s commitment to green energy investments in the Western Balkans. More and more renewable energy projects are appearing in the region.

“Just as GGF was able to play a catalytic role as an investor in the implementation of the Bogoslovec wind farm, the German government and the European Commission are catalytic investors in the fund itself. It is thanks to their core investments that international and development financial institutions and private investors gather, increasing the pool of necessary green capital invested in the region,” said Borislav Kostadinov, director of the GGF in Finance fund at Motion.

Coalitions of investors combining their efforts can transform renewable energy into a mainstream business in North Macedonia and the Balkans

In a speech at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the site, near the village of Bogoslovec, he called for closer cooperation in the green energy sector.

“Only by combining our efforts, building coalitions of investors and complementing our strengths, will we have the necessary sources to accelerate the development of renewable energy sources and turn them into a mainstream business in North Macedonia and the broader Balkan region,” Kostadinov said.

GGF Bogoslovec wind farm model-green-energy-investments-Balkans Borislav Kostadinov
Director of the GGF fund in the finance department at Motion Borislav Kostadinov

Bogoslovec almost doubles the capacity of wind farms in North Macedonia

The capacity of the 36 MW Bogoslovec power plant is almost equal to the size of the Bogdanci power plant, effectively doubling the country’s wind power capacity. It is connected to a 110 kV overhead power line. The system consists of eight turbines placed on towers each 102.5 meters high.

“We have finally reached a turning point in terms of consensus on action and vision for a greener future in the Western Balkans. We see this in record-breaking renewable energy auctions. We see this in the targeted phase-out of coal. We see it in industry and households installing solar PV on a large scale, and we see it in the financial sector’s work to build an increasingly sustainable system,” said GGF Chairman Christopher Knowles.

Knowles: We have finally reached a turning point in terms of consensus action and a vision for a greener future in the Western Balkans

The fund is a public-private partnership that combines the best of both sides: the development program and risk absorption of the public sector and the deeper pockets of private investors and their ability to scale, in his opinion.

“We are very pleased to have the support of both the European Commission and the German Government and their role as our catalytic founding shareholders, as well as the founding role of the European Investment Bank and KfW as key investors. And many more now. “I think we can confidently say that we have every major DFI and a growing number of private sector investors in our investor base,” Knowles said.

GGF-Bogoslovec-wind-farm-model-green energy-investments-Balkans Christopher Knowles
GGF Chairman Christopher Knowles

The new wind farm in Sveti Nikole produces enough electricity for 20,000 households

The GGF chairman noted that it had reached almost EUR 1 billion of committed capital. Since its inception, it has delivered targeted green investments worth €1.6 billion in 19 countries to almost 60,000 beneficiaries, Knowles recalled. These include businesses and households working on energy efficiency measures and key infrastructure projects such as Bogoslovec, he added.

Knowles highlighted the fact that the largest recipient is Southeastern Europe. He said the work in North Macedonia illustrates the overall reach and diversity and impact of the fund’s operations. Over the past 15 years, it has partnered with some of the country’s largest banks and developers to finance a wide range of green investments.

GGF has so far provided €1 million in grants for technical assistance projects in North Macedonia

The Fund has so far accumulated numerous financing instruments for a total amount of over EUR 50 million. Additionally, it launched dedicated projects through the GGF Technical Assistance Facility for local financial institutions for a further EUR 1 million in grants.

According to the project’s calculations, the expected production in Bogoslovac can cover the electricity needs of over 20,000 households in North Macedonia, which will translate into avoided carbon dioxide emissions by 80,000 tons.

Bogoslovec was financed with a €51 million senior debt package from a group of lenders led by Erste Group. The other members are Komercijalna banka, NLB banka and Sparkasse banka. The Austrian Development Bank (OeEB) granted a subordinated loan of EUR 10 million.

Fast project implementation

European Union Ambassador David Geer said during the event that North Macedonia is expected to increase its renewable energy capacity to 937 MW by 2030.

“The Western Balkans have enormous natural assets in wind, solar and hydropower and enormous opportunities for private investment, complementing and exceeding that of the EU and other partners. It is important that authorities and private industry work hand in hand and constructively to ensure that the renewable energy sector maximizes this potential. And this project shows that it can be done,” he emphasized.

The wind farm was completed less than three years after the project was presented, noted German deputy ambassador Otto Graf. “I would say it is a huge success, especially compared to many public projects that rarely achieve success in such a short time,” he assured.

The EU and Germany also participated in the financing of the Bogdanci wind park, operated by the state-controlled energy company Elektrani na Severna Makedonija (ESM). It is worth noting that German equity funds participate in the investment in Bogoslovac through the Green for Growth Fund, which is advised by the German investor Finance in Motion.

Bogoslovec 2 is under consideration

Siemens Gamesa delivered and installed SG 5.0-145 turbines in cooperation with the Croatian company ING-GRAD, noted Mihajlo Mihajlovski of Thor Impex. Their subcontractors were Vardargradba, Hitachi Energy and Elnos Group.

Design company Thor Impex has entered into a PPA with MEMO for the facility in Bogoslovac

“Thank you to all our partners and all participants who believed in this project. Your support was invaluable. Another key factor was our partner, the Green for Growth Fund, without whom this project would not be a reality today, said Mihajlovski, who initiated the investment in Bogoslovac. BNB Kompani, the majority shareholder of Thor Impex, already had experience in renewable energy projects in North Macedonia.

Mihajlo Mihajlovski BNB from Thor Impex
Mihajlo Mihajlovski from Thor Impex

Mihajlovski went further, revealing that the Bogoslovec 2 project is under consideration and called on partners to launch it together within a year and a half.

Since March 1, the Bogoslovec wind park has been supplying electricity to the National Electricity Market Operator MEMO under the power purchase agreement (PPA) signed several years ago. Lasts until 2035.

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