November 8, 2011

Cost of connecting wind turbines to national grid is EUR 500 M; Transelectrica lacks money for the investment

Bianca Cojocaru, 8 November 2011

The connection of wind farms to the national electricity grid requires over EUR 500 M of investment, money Transelectrica does not have, therefore some production capabilities will have to operate with restrictions unless financing sources are identified, Mediafax reports.

‘We are being told we should come up with solutions. Those solutions cost more than EUR 500 M as investment. Transelectrica doesn’t have the funds. We are now discussing with the National Regulatory Agency in the Field of Energy (ANRE) to propose legislative initiatives that would allow us to raise the investment. Without such investment, all wind farm connection permits will be issued with operation restrictions. Currently more projects are being assessed than we can attract, we feel the absence of a legislation to make wind farm developers guarantee their completion’, Transelectrica Deputy General Manager Octavian Lohan told a press conference on energy yesterday. According to Lohan, part of the investment could be provided by selling minority Transelectrica stocks.

‘We have identified sources of financing, now we need the legislation and a hierarchy of projects according to the capacity of accomplishing them. For example, companies from Russia, China, USA or UK have expressed an interest in buying Transelectrica shares. Then we have proposed to ANRE other methods, including financial guarantees wind energy developers should be required to pay when projects are selected,’ Lohan said. The Government plans to sell by secondary offering 15 per cent of Transelectrica shares together with a 12 per cent injection of capital.

Lohan says that, although Transelectrica has received requests to authorise a total of 30,000 MW wind installations, many developers do not have the money to finalise their projects. ‘Unfortunately, Transelectrica cannot reject any such project unless it wants to jeopardise the security of the national grid. We cannot have more than 5,000 MW wind energy. Therefore, it seems that we are not doing well,’ Lohan continued.

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