Bosnian utility looks at wind potential

Bosnian power utility Elektro-privreda Herceg-Bosne is studying the wind potential in Duvno and Livno, northwest of Mostar, to assess whether wind farms can be built there. The data collected so far is more than encouraging, indicating potential for turbine operation at a capacity factor of 30%, compared with 25% in similar areas of Germany. Feasibility studies are being carried out by Mostar University for the construction of 210 MW of wind farms in the area of Podvelezje. "With wind power of that size, we could supply the whole city of Mostar with electricity. However, the existing law on concessions does not precisely define the question of wind energy and we will have to resolve this issue in the coming period," says Mostar mayor Ljubo Beslic. Meanwhile, Austrian investors have already asked the Mostar city authorities for concession of the operation of the plants. The energy produced would be exported to Austria. Austrian Windkraft Simonsfeld is planning to invest EUR 65 million to build the first wind plant in Bosnia and Herzegovina near Mostar. It has already set up a subsidiary, Vjetroenergetika, which will be entrusted with the task of building a 60 MW facility of 30 turbines. If the Bosnian authorities issue the necessary authorisations, work on the first two, 2.3 MW turbines could start this spring. The project will cost EUR 5.5 million. The remaining turbines are to be built in two or three phases. According to Vjetroenergetika chief executive, Stefan Ilies-Maior, the project will be partly financed with bank loans. Once completed, the plant will be able to produce around 136.9 GWh annually.

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