Home > Bulgarian Economy > Swiss Alpiq to build 50 MW wind park in Bulgaria

Swiss Alpiq to build 50 MW wind park in Bulgaria

Switzerland’s leading energy company Alpiq will invest 80 million euros ($103.4 million) to build a wind energy park in Bulgaria to increase its renewable energy production, the economy ministry said on Wednesday.

Construction of the 50 megawatt (MW) park near the town of Kazanluk in central Bulgaria will start in the coming months and is expected to begin electricity production in 2010, the ministry said in a statement.

Bulgaria’s installed wind power capacity totals 70 MW, generating just over 1 percent of its electricity consumption. The Balkan country gets about 43 percent of its power from coal and 40 percent from nuclear energy.

It plans to increase the share of renewable energy to 16 percent by 2020 as part of European Union efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels and expand “green” energy production.

U.S. energy company AES Corp. (AES.N) has recently announced plans to build a 270 million euros wind park on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast with a capacity of 156 MW by the end of 2009.

AES has said it wants to build a second wind park of a minimum 100 MW capacity in the north of Bulgaria.

Austrian power utility EVN (EVNV.VI) also plans to build a 50 MW wind farm on the Black Sea coast.

Bulgaria along with other ex-communist eastern European countries, which rely mainly on coal and nuclear energy for their electricity production, are lagging behind their western neighbours on meeting the EU’s clean energy goals.

The bloc wants 20 percent of energy demand to be sourced from renewables such as solar, wind, wave, hydro and biomass by 2020, versus 8.5 percent now. (Reporting by Anna Mudeva; editing by James Jukwey)


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