NOTUS energy: 102.6 MW Windfarm in Kosovo Begins Feeding the Grid - Largest Direct Investment Since Country’s Founding
In the mountains around 40 kilometers northeast of the capital Pristina, NOTUS energy has completed construction on Kosovo's largest wind farm, including a new substation. The 27 wind turbines in the Selac windfarm provide electricity for more than 100,000 households, accounting for up to ten percent of Kosovo's electricity consumption.
The wind farm near the town of Mitrovica and the village of Bajgora (Bajgorë) is an important milestone for Kosovo on its way to an autonomous and renewable energy supply. "We are very proud to have been able to make a significant contribution to this outstanding project," says Heiner Röger, managing director of independent power producer NOTUS energy in Potsdam. Kosovo has relied almost exclusively on coal-fired power generation and electricity imports.
Together with local partners, NOTUS energy carried out the permit planning, supported the financing and implemented the project as general contractor. This includes cooperation with the authorities and the transmission system operator. The project was implemented by SOWI Kosovo llc. (sowikosovo.com) and has since been taken over by the investor Enlight Energy (enlightenergy.co.il).
Windfarm in the Mountains at Altitude of 1800 Meters
The 27 wind turbines of type GE 3.8 - 137 (hub height 110 meters) have a capacity of 102.6 MW and are by far the largest wind farm in Kosovo. They are located about 40 kilometers north of Pristina in the southern foothills of the Kopaonik Mountains, which separate Kosovo from Serbia.
Transporting and erecting the turbines at an altitude of up to 1,800 meters in a remote, mountainous and barren landscape with an extension of 13 kilometers and 23 kilometers of road construction posed a particular challenge. "You only build a project like this once in a lifetime," say NOTUS energy's civil engineers.
20km High-Voltage Line and Substation Constructed
At the site near the village of Bajgora, NOTUS energy built a 120 MW substation to transform the wind farm's electricity to the 110 kV level. The substation is located at an altitude of 1,500 meters. From there, NOTUS energy built a 20-kilometer 110 kV overhead line to the feed-in point in the town of Vushtrria. NOTUS energy also renovated the substation in Vushtrria in the process.
"The wind farm is an example of international cooperation in the renewable energy sector," says Heiner Röger. SOWI Kosovo initiated the wind farm as a Kosovar-German company. The main investor is the Israeli Enlight Energy (enlightenergy.co.il).
Investment of 170 Million Euros
The total investment amounts to 170 million euros. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has provided a loan of 58 million euros. Erste Bank Austria and the Slovenian bank NLB are also involved. About one third is financed by the owners.
Due to the EBRD's involvement alone, the Selac wind farm meets particularly high standards in terms of environmental compatibility and the involvement of local people. In total, NOTUS energy has signed leases with more than 300 small landowners.
"The Selac wind farm is a very special project in many respects. It was initiated by a group of friends of Kosovar and German entrepreneurs with a lot of perseverance. At the beginning of the project, not a single turbine manufacturer wanted to deliver to Kosovo because the country was too small a market. The location at 1,800 meters is another special feature for the construction and also for the future operation of the plants. We also experienced exceptional support from the German embassy in Pristina during implementation in Kosovo," explains NOTUS energy Managing Director Röger.
In accordance with the regulations in Kosovo, official operation of the wind farm is scheduled to begin on November 30, 2021, after the trial operation phase that has already started.