Georgia advances plans for 1.45GW of wind

GEORGIA: The government of Georgia has designed a package of measures aiming to support the creation of a domestic wind industry from next year.

Georgia's parliament building in Kutaisi
Georgia's parliament building in Kutaisi

As part of the proposed measures, foreign investors will be allowed to export up to 80% of energy produced by wind power plants out of the country.

Land identified for wind power plants will be offered at low prices.

Project development will be funded by the local governments together with private investors and the recently established Georgian Energy Development Fund (GEDF), a government-backed body created for the development of renewables in Georgia.

There are plans for wind farms to be built in the Poti, Chorokhi, Kutaisi and Sabueti regions in the west of the country; the Gori and Kaspi regions in central Georgia; and the Rustavi region in the south-east. The total capacity of all wind projects could reach 1.45GW. The projects are scheduled for the commissioning during 2018-2019.

The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development will provide some investment for the projects.

In May 2014, Turkish developer Energy Windpower signed a memorandum of understanding with the Gerogian energy ministry to invest up to $1.4 billion in the construction of 1.5GW of wind farms.

Under the terms of the agreement, Energy Windpower agreed to calculate the wind power potential around Georgia's largest cities and prepare environmental impact assessments for potential sites.

GEDF general director Giorgi Bezhuashvili said the country's first project would be commissioned in the spring of 2016. This is a 20MW project located around 76 kilometers north-west of the capital Tbilisi, with an investment of $26 million.

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