The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing EUR 48m of finance for the construction and operation of three new wind farms in Austria (Kreuzstetten IV, Dürnkrut II and Hipples II) with a total capacity of 39 MW. The facilities will be operated by Windkraft Simonsfeld AG, which has been running wind farms successfully in Austria since the end of the 90s. The overall capacity of the wind farms operated by Windkraft Simonsfeld AG currently amounts to 168 MW.
The bulk of the EIB financing package – EUR 35m – will go to Windpark Kreuzstetten IV GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Windkraft Simonsfeld AG, responsible for building and operating the three planned wind farms. This financing operation has been made possible by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), commonly known as the “Juncker Plan”. EFSI is the main pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe (IPE), under which the EIB Group and the European Commission are working together as strategic partners to boost the competitiveness of the European economy. The remaining EUR 13m of EIB funds will be advanced for project financing via Erste Bank Österreich.
Maroš Šefčovič, Commission Vice-President responsible for Energy Union, said: "This positive decision reflects the new reality – the EU's resolute transition to clean energy. Austria in particular is well on track to reach its 2020 target for renewable energy. These are precisely the steps we need in order to pave the way to a swift implementation of the Paris agreement."
The EIB Vice-President responsible for operations in Austria, Andrew McDowell, said: “The promotion of sustainable, competitive and secure sources of energy is a key EU policy objective and a priority sector for EIB financing. We are very pleased to be able to promote the development of renewable energies in Austria in close cooperation with our Austrian partners. The Kreuzstetten, Dürnkrut and Hipples wind farm projects are a clear sign that Austria takes climate and environmental protection very seriously.”
“2018 will be a year of strong growth for us. We are installing 13 additional wind power plants with a nominal output of 39 MW, increasing our production capacity by 22%,” stated Windkraft Simonsfeld AG's CEO Martin Steininger. “The volume of electricity produced by these new wind power plants corresponds to the consumption of more than 25 000 households – an important step in the fight against climate change.” Over the next four years, the medium-sized company intends to build a further 18 wind power plants in Austria, which have already been approved, providing a substantial boost to the country's wind power generation.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union, owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.
Windkraft Simonsfeld AG operates 78 wind power plants in Austria and two in Bulgaria. With its headquarters in Lower Austria, Windkraft Simonsfeld AG generated 464 million kWh of electricity in 2017, which is equivalent to the consumption of 116 000 households. The over-the-counter joint stock company is owned by almost 2 000 shareholders.
Investment Plan for Europe
The Investment Plan for Europe (the Juncker Plan) is one of the EU's key actions to boost investment in Europe, thereby creating jobs and fostering growth. To this end, smarter use will be made of new and existing financial resources. The EIB Group is playing a vital role in this investment plan. With guarantees from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the EIB and EIF are able to take on a higher share of project risk, encouraging private investors to participate in the projects. In addition to EFSI, the new EIAH advisory platform helps public and private-sector project promoters to structure investment projects more professionally. The investment plan should also create a more investment-friendly EU regulatory environment, particularly in the digital, energy and capital markets sectors. In December 2017, the European Parliament and Member States reached an agreement to extend the duration of EFSI and increase its financial capacity.
24 January 2018