Actis-backed developer buys into 450MW Romanian wind farm

Renewable energy investor Low Carbon hopes to reach financial close on a 450MW wind farm in Romania in the first half of 2023, as momentum builds in the eastern European market.

Mud volcanoes in Buzau, where the Vis Viva wind farm is due to be built (pic credit: grafvision/Getty Images)
Mud volcanoes in Buzau, where the Vis Viva wind farm is due to be built (pic credit: grafvision/Getty Images)

Low Carbon has also sold a 51% stake in the 450MW Vis Viva project – which is set to be one of Europe’s largest onshore wind farms – to Actis-owned Rezolv Energy.

Rezolv Energy is an independent clean energy power producer focused on sustainable power in central and south-eastern Europe, and was recently launched by global investor company Actis.

Its stake acquisition appears to be part of a second wave of project development in Romania, following Siemens Gamesa recently announcing an agreement, which it claimed was the first firm turbine order signed in Romania for ten years.

Most of Romania’s current 3GW installed capacity came online during a boom supported by generous incentives from 2010 to 2014. Since then very little capacity has been brought online amid regulatory uncertainty, according to Windpower Intelligence, the research and data division of Windpower Monthly.

However, developers have remained interested in the market, with investors gearing up for a second wave of project development on a subsidy-free basis.

The Vis Viva wind farm is one of renewable energy investment manager Low Carbon’s largest projects to date and its first in Romania. It is due to be sited east of the Romanian capital Bucharest, near Buzau. 

Low Carbon explained that it has been “stewarding” the Vis Viva project since 2020, when it first entered the transaction with local developers and Nero Renewables. Nero Renewables initially aimed to bring the project into operation by 2020. At that time it was expected to comprise 120 turbines with power ratings of 4-4.5MW. The site has good wind resources, flat terrain and energy interconnection, Low Carbon stated.

Roy Bedlow, chief executive at Low Carbon, said the 450MW project “marks a significant milestone for Low Carbon, as we seek to build 20GW of renewable energy capacity, and achieve net-zero by 2030. We are pleased that Rezolv Energy chose to collaborate with Low Carbon for its first energy transaction in Europe.”

Jim Campion, chief executive at Rezolv, said: “Rising energy costs, heightened security concerns, demand to meet climate targets, and stakeholder expectations, are causing a rethink on energy usage – and production. Today, private companies, as well as public utilities, are finding their traditional reliance on fossil fuels far less viable. The Vis Viva project will play a major role in accelerating this transition in Romania, whilst providing long-term, stably priced electricity to commercial and industrial consumers across the region.”

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