LongWing, VLC Renewables and GE announce commissioning for first phase of 500MW onshore wind farm
First 98MW of Ukraine wind farm commissioned – expected to be one of the largest onshore wind farms in Ukraine
Phase I equipped with 27 GE Renewable Energy 3.6 MW onshore wind turbines
May 17, 2021: LongWing Energy SCA, VLC Renewables Fund 1 (VLCR), the Jersey-based Fund established by Low Carbon and Vitol to invest in renewable energy generation, and GE Energy Financial Services (“GE EFS”) have commissioned Phase I of the 500 megawatt (MW) onshore Zaporizhia Wind Park in southeast Ukraine. With an installed capacity of 98MW in Phase I, the wind farm has commenced operations and will generate enough clean energy to power more than 170,000 households.
Phase I comprises 27 3.6MW GE Renewable Energy onshore wind turbines with a rotor diameter of 137 meter, a hub height of 110 meters. Construction of Phase I of the wind farm was completed under challenging conditions and social distancing restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The wind farm will sell its power through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the Ukrainian state enterprise Guaranteed Buyer at a set Feed-in Tariff. Upon full completion of up to a total of 500MW, the project is expected to be one of the largest onshore wind farms in Ukraine, powering approximately 780,000 homes and offsetting 4,860,000 tons of carbon emissions per year.
Phase I was sponsored by LongWing and VLCR with GE EFS as a preferred equity investor. Senior debt financing of US$ 150 million was provided by United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the U.S. development bank, formerly Overseas Private Investment Corporation. GE EFS worked with DFC to close debt financing and enable the build out of LongWing’s first project in the country. The transaction is one of the first international project finance transactions in the Ukrainian renewable energy sector to be financed on an international non-recourse project financing basis. The project is one of a number of international investments in Ukraine’s high growth onshore wind segment as the country seeks to harness its strong wind resource to increase energy independence and security and reduce reliance on gas, coal and nuclear imports.
Commenting on the milestone, John Stuart of Low Carbon said: “While some project completion dates have been set back due to the pandemic, we are delighted to have worked with such a strong multinational project team to commence operations and create much-needed local jobs and skills during the construction of the wind farm. Wind power continues to grow and thrive, despite the crisis, providing affordable clean energy while fossil fuels face unprecedented market fluctuation and we are proud to play our part in increasing Ukraine’s renewable power mix.”
David Hunter, MD of the LongWing Energy Group said: “The LongWing Energy team is pleased to have reached the successful commissioning of Phase I of the Zaporizhia Wind Park project, after leading its development over the past seven years. This result justifies the substantial social and financial investment LongWing has made as a pioneer in the Ukraine renewable energy market, and validates LongWing’s business strategy as a Central and East European renewable energy IPP’.”
Sheri Hickok, President & CEO, Onshore Wind International, GE Renewable Energy, said: “Reaching commercial operations on the first phase of Zaporizhia Wind Park marks GE’s fourth wind farm project in Ukraine. We are proud to be supporting Ukraine’s drive towards renewable energy by supporting our customers with innovative onshore wind technology, delivering financing solutions that helps drive sustainable economic growth, and working in a way that keeps the safety of our teams front and center.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
VLCR is a Fund focussed on generating significant investment into renewable energy assets across Europe. It was formed in July 2018, through a partnership between Low Carbon, a UK-based renewable energy investment company and Vitol, one of the world’s largest energy companies. www.vlcrenewables.com
About LongWing Energy
LongWing Energy is an IPP platform which purchases, finances, constructs and operates onshore wind and solar parks in Europe. The LongWing Energy aggregation portfolio consists of operating and development stage wind and solar parks of over 900 MW. The company’s main markets are France, Poland and Ukraine. LongWing Energy has an aggressive growth strategy into additional growth markets in the renewable energy sector in Europe and Eastern Europe. www.lwg.lu
About GE Energy Financial Services
A strategic GE Capital business, GE Energy Financial Services is a global energy investor with 35+ years managing assets through multiple energy cycles. Drawing on its technical know-how, financial strength and strong risk management, GE Energy Financial Services invests in and provides capital solutions for long-lived and capital-intensive projects and companies that help meet the world’s energy needs. It is headquartered in Connecticut with regional hubs in London, Houston, Washington D.C. and Singapore. For more information, visit www.geenergyfinancialservices.com and follow us on Twitter @GEEnergyFinServ.
About GE Renewable Energy
GE Renewable Energy is a $15 billion business which combines one of the broadest portfolios in the renewable energy industry to provide end-to-end solutions for our customers demanding reliable and affordable green power. Combining onshore and offshore wind, blades, hydro, storage, utility-scale solar, and grid solutions as well as hybrid renewables and digital services offerings, GE Renewable Energy has installed more than 400+ gigawatts of clean renewable energy and equipped more than 90 percent of utilities worldwide with its grid solutions. With nearly 40,000 employees present in more than 80 countries, GE Renewable Energy creates value for customers seeking to power the world with affordable, reliable and sustainable green electrons. Follow us at www.ge.com/renewableenergy, on www.linkedin.com/company/gerenewableenergy, or on www.twitter.com/GErenewables