Georgia makes first move into wind power

GEORGIA: The country of Georgia is taking its first steps into wind generation with plans to develop a 20MW wind farm.

The project was announced at the Georgian parliament
The project was announced at the Georgian parliament

Georgian energy minister Kakha Kaladze announced in parliament that a site has been chosen for the project and a met mast has been installed.

Construction is expected to begin at the end of next year, and the ministry has plans to allow an extension of the wind farm to a possible 150MW. However, any extension would be undertaken by the private sector.

A number of manufacturers have already visited the site, around 60 kilometres from Tblisi, and the ministry said it is in negotiations with several over the supply of turbines.

Kaladze said that the project would help the country move away from its dependence on foreign energy sources, particularly Russia and Azerbaijan, which supply 75% of its energy.

"We have a real opportunity and resources to become energy independent in the near future, and these resources will be used," he said.

The state energy company will develop the project with a view to selling it on once it is operating.

To aid this, the International Finance Corporation, part of the World Bank, is advising the Georgian government on how best to progress and how to make the project commercially viable for sale to the private sector.

An environmental impact assessment has cleared the site for development, and the ministry said that the grid has been readied to deal with the additional power.

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