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The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed its first loan to a company building and running photovoltaic plants in Poland. The EU bank will lend PLN 82m (around EUR 18m) to Energy Solar Projekty sp.z o.o. for the construction and operation of 66 small-scale, independent photovoltaic (PV) plants. With an average nominal capacity for each plant of less or equal than 1 MW, the total capacity will reach about 65,6 MW. This is the equivalent of 19,000 households, which could be supplied with the energy generated by the project.
The borrower, Energy Solar Projekty sp.z o.o, is a subsidiary company of the Energy and Infrastructure SME Fund managed by the Lithuanian-based investment management company Lords LB Asset Management.
The operation has the guarantee of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), which is the financial pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe jointly managed by the European Commission and the EIB. The EIB is co-financing the project with DNB Bank Polska, each bank providing 50% of senior debt (total amount PLN 164m). The shareholders of the borrower (Energy Solar Projekty sp.z o.o.) will put around 30% of total funding needs of the project.
The PV plants are located in northern Poland, covering areas in the Voivodships of West Pomerania, Pomerania, Warmia-Masuria and Kuyavia-Pomerania, with a larger conglomeration in the first three regions. The PV plants are grouped in eight project companies, each comprising of one or more individual plants. Energy Solar Projekty sp.z o.o. is the holding company owning the overall portfolio.
The total capacity of all newly built independent PV plants in the portfolio will produce approximately 68,000 MWh of electricity in the first year and will help to reduce 47,000 tons of carbon dioxide each year. It is estimated that the total installed capacity of all solar power plants in Poland has reached around 1.3 GW in the end of 2019.
Paolo Gentiloni, European Commissioner for the Economy said that “The financing agreement signed to build these solar energy plants is excellent news both for Poland’s economy and its environment. The European Green Deal will be at the heart of our efforts to rebuild our economies after the coronavirus pandemic and Poland should continue to make use of all the EU support on offer”.
“This is the first concrete project financed by the EIB under a programme loan dedicated to solar energy in Poland and approved in 2018. We hope more will come to life in the near future,” said Teresa Czerwinska, EIB Vice-President, who oversees the bank’s operations in Poland.