Construction work is about to begin for the 38 MW wind farm in Szymankowo in northern Poland, the first renewables investment in the country to be structured purely on the basis of market pricing and with no support from subsidies.

The EBRD will support the project with a long-term loan of up to PLN 42 million (€10 million equivalent). Other financial partners in a financial package worth a total PLN 107 million include mBank and ING Bank Śląski.

The Szymankowo wind farm will have a capacity of 38 MW generated by 11 turbines and is expected to be connected to the grid in 2021. The wind farm will be owned and operated by Polenergia S.A., the largest private, vertically integrated energy group in Poland.

The estimated annual production of the wind farm will correspond to the annual electricity demand of 60,000 households. The project will lead to annual reductions in emissions of up to 104,000 tons of CO2, 98 tons of SO2, 99 tons of NOx and 35 tons of CO. With Szymankowo, the total capacity of Polenergia’s onshore wind farms will increase by 15 per cent to 287 MW.

The fact that the project will be implemented on a purely commercial basis without long-term government support is an indication of the rapidly maturing Polish renewables market.

Grzegorz Zieliński, EBRD Regional Director, Central Europe and the Baltics, said: “We are pleased to support this project as a major step forward in the ‘greening’ of the Polish economy. This is a particularly attractive example demonstrating that renewables are now fully competitive in the market space, based on their performance and pricing.”

Michał Michalski, President of the Management Board of Polenergia, added; “We are upbeat about the prospects for the development of the Polish energy market as well as the decreasing costs of energy production in onshore wind farms. Our business model makes it possible to obtain costs of electricity from an onshore wind farm project at a competitive level against the prices available on the Polish market.”

To date, the EBRD has invested €9.9 billion in 420 projects in Poland. Supporting the transition to a green economy in Poland, the largest coal producer in Europe and heavily affected by air pollution, is one of the Bank’s priorities in the country.