The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing €48 million of finance for the construction and operation of three new wind farms in Austria (Kreuzstetten IV, Dürnkrut II and Hipples II) with a total capacity of 39 MW.
The facilities will be operated by Windkraft Simonsfeld AG, which has been running wind farms successfully in Austria since the end of the 90s. The overall capacity of the wind farms operated by Windkraft Simonsfeld AG currently amounts to 168 MW, the European Commission said in a press release on January 24.
Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič noted that this positive decision reflects the new reality – the EU’s resolute transition to clean energy. “Austria in particular is well on track to reach its 2020 target for renewable energy. These are precisely the steps we need in order to pave the way to a swift implementation of the Paris agreement,” he said.
The bulk of the EIB financing package – €35 million – will go to Windpark Kreuzstetten IV GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Windkraft Simonsfeld AG, responsible for building and operating the three planned wind farms.
The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), commonly known as the “Juncker Plan” has made this financing operation possible. EFSI is the main pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe (IPE), under which the EIB Group and the European Commission are working together as strategic partners to boost the competitiveness of the European economy. The remaining €13 million of EIB funds will be advanced for project financing via Erste Bank Österreich.
“The promotion of sustainable, competitive and secure sources of energy is a key EU policy objective and a priority sector for EIB financing,” EIB Vice-President responsible for operations in Austria Andrew McDowell said. “We are very pleased to be able to promote the development of renewable energies in Austria in close cooperation with our Austrian partners. The Kreuzstetten, Dürnkrut and Hipples wind farm projects are a clear sign that Austria takes climate and environmental protection very seriously,” McDowell added.
Windkraft Simonsfeld AG’s CEO Martin Steininger said, “2018 will be a year of strong growth for us. We are installing 13 additional wind power plants with a nominal output of 39 MW, increasing our production capacity by 22%”.
According to Steininger, this an important step in the fight against climate change as the volume of electricity produced by these new wind power plants corresponds to the consumption of more than 25,000 households. “Over the next four years, the medium-sized company intends to build a further 18 wind power plants in Austria, which have already been approved, providing a substantial boost to the country’s wind power generation,” he said.