(ADPnews) - Sep 24, 2010 - After setting up a solid portfolio of green power projects in home Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia, Nelja Energia, or 4Energia, says it will continue to focus business development on the Baltics and has no plans regarding other European markets.
"Baltic countries is the region where we are planning to expand our business", Martin Kruus, the chairman of the company's board told ADPnews in an interview.
By Ausra T. Antonov
Tallinn-based Nelja Energia, is currently developing or managing 18 wind farms in the Baltic states. These projects have a combined capacity of 339 MW onshore and 700 MW offshore.
According to Kruus, Estonia offers the most favourable conditions for renewable energy development in the Baltics. Nelja Energia's head noted that the country has a "premium system", under which wind energy producers receive a subsidy of EUR 0.054 (USD 0.072) per kilowatt-hour (kWh) plus the market electricity price. Still, Kruus added, "there is maximum limit of wind energy supported like this in Estonia and it is 600 GWh per year".
So far, Nelja Energia has unwrapped 90.4 MW of wind power in its homeland and possesses 758.7 MW under development, including a 700 MW offshore wind farm, named Hiiumaa. The facility, which will comprise around 200 wind turbines, with a capacity of up to 5 MW each, will spring up in the Baltic Sea waters, north of the Saaremaa Island.
Sticking to its Baltic-focused strategy, Nelja has already injected EUR 309 million in Lithuanian wind power market, where it is developing a number of wind farms with a combined capacity of almost 180 MW. The company's first project in the country -- the 14 MW Sudenai facility has been operated by local subsidiary 4energia UAB since December 2008.
At present, there is a feed-In tariff (FiT) system functioning in Lithuania and pursuant to it, the electricity from wind farms will be bought at EUR 0.086 per kWh until 2020.
Meanwhile, Latvia has so far attracted little of Nelja Energia's investments. The country has no subsidy for wind energy available at the moment, Kruus explained. Some EUR 49 million are being poured in a 50 MW wind farm, dubbed Dundaga, which will arise in the Talsi District, northwestern Latvia. When completed, the facility will be run by Nelja Energia's subsidiary 4energia SIA.
Besides wind power, 4Energia is also working on deriving green energy from other renewable sources. The chairman of the board noted that the company's name translates as "Four Energy' meaning that it strives to tap the four clean power sources -- wind, hydro, biomass and solar. Consequently, Nelja's clean power portfolio includes also two biogas-fired cogeneration plants with a total capacity of 2.06 MW for electricity and 2.1 MW for heat generation, as well as pump hydro storage facility in Estonia.
(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.335)
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