SEB bank has signed a long-term loan agreement of EUR 45 million with the E Energija Group, which plans to build a 68.9 MW wind power plant park in the Telšiai district by 2022. This project is special because it is being developed together with the American company General Electric, and the wind turbines planned to be built are the tallest in Lithuania.
What is impressive is that the 68.9 MW capacity of wind park will be achieved thanks to General Electric’s 13 newest wind turbines, while the amount of green electricity produced by the park will cover nearly 80,000 households’ annual electricity consumption needs. These are the most powerful wind turbines in Lithuania – the capacity of one turbine will be 5.3 MW - in comparison, the current most powerful turbine in Lithuania is only 3 MW. The wind park will also stand out in height – the height of the tower with a wing will reach 220 meters. By comparison, the restaurant of Vilnius Television Tower is located at an altitude of 165 meters.
The economic parameters are no less impressive – the park will not need state support or subsidy, the technical and economic parameters of wind turbines will allow the park to operate and compete in market conditions. Electricity generated by the wind parks will be purchased by Estonian state-owned Eesti Energia, which operates on the international market under the name Enefit. This is the first long-term, 10-year power purchase agreement in the region.
“Investments in wind energy are important not only because of climate change and the transformation of the energy sector, but also politically in order to reduce energy dependence, meet future growth of consumption in Lithuania (both due to industrial development and electrification of the transport sector), ensure low prices for households and competitive energy supply to Lithuanian industry. Obviously, this will also contribute to promoting a successful economic recovery in the wake of the COVID19 pandemic. In this case, banks can play a crucial role in providing targeted and competitive financial solutions and therefore the financing of these clean energy companies is a priority for SEB bank as one of the main investors of wind parks in Lithuania. SEB bank is delighted to have contributed to the financing of such a special project and is grateful to the team of E Energija for their professional cooperation. We are also very happy with the new cooperation links with General Electric and Eesti Energia,” says Vilius Juzikis, a board member of SEB Bank and Head of Corporate Banking.
The European Union (EU) states have committed to achieve a climate-neutral economy by 2050, which is only possible with a 100% transition to renewable energy sources. Due to Lithuania’s climate conditions, wind energy is a competitive, cheap and widely available source of energy in Lithuania and should therefore play a key role in achieving the above-mentioned EU energy goals and ensuring the necessary amount of electricity produced in the country.
As Juzikis says, this is crucial knowing that some of the energy currently produced in the country comes from fossil fuel plants that will eventually be shut down – without wind-generated power plants, the Baltic States will become dependent on electricity imports. The planned development of wind energy will allow Lithuania to become one of the leading countries in the EU and the greenest in terms of electricity production.
Currently, the capacity of wind power plants installed in Lithuania amounts to 534 MW and their electricity production accounts for more than 10% of total energy consumption. Compared to other countries in the region and the EU average, we do not stand out. The number of wind power plants in Lithuania is expected to increase significantly during this decade and their capacity will reach nearly 2,200 MW by 2030.
“Since such a wind park project, which is developed without state subsidies, is the first not only in Lithuania but also in the Baltic States, ensuring funding was a major challenge. We are pleased that SEB bank has entrusted us and our partner General Electric and decided to make a significant contribution to the financing of this project.” The mission of E Energija Group to have a significant impact on reducing the impact of the energy sector on climate change through such increasingly large-scale projects has also played an important role, as today socially responsible businesses tend to contribute to the development of such projects,” said Gediminas Uloza, CEO of E Energy Group.
E Energy started working on the 68.9 MW Telšiai wind park in June this year and the first turbines will be launched in spring 2021. The wind turbine park is scheduled to start commercial activities in early 2022.