The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said on May 18 it will support French renewable energy producer Qair’s portfolio of almost 200 MW of renewable energy in Poland with five loans totalling 280 million zlotys (approximately €63 million equivalent), advancing the green energy transition in Poland. BNP Paribas is also providing project finance lending to the portfolio on a parallel basis.
Poland, which still generates 80% of its energy from coal, with harmful effects on the environment and human health, has committed itself to the EU climate and energy targets for 2030, which include a reduction of at least 40% in greenhouse gas emissions. Renewable energy has a key role to play in meeting that goal.
According to the EBRD, the portfolio includes the construction under the Polish renewable energy auction support scheme (contract for difference) of 93 MW of new capacity – the three wind farms Udanin (50 MW), Parzeczew (9 MW) and Wrzesnia (9 MW) and 25 MW of solar photovoltaic – as well as the operation of wind farms Linowo (58 MW) and Rzepin (48 MW).
The EBRD said its loans will be provided to five Polish special-purpose vehicles that are ultimately owned by two experienced sponsors – the French renewable energy developer and operator Qair and the French infrastructure fund RGreen Invest.
“While so many efforts are rightly focused on addressing the Covid-19 crisis, it is also vital to sustain the momentum behind the green transition,” said the director of EBRD’s Energy EMEA team, Harry Boyd-Carpenter. “Climate change may now feel less immediate, but it is every bit as serious a challenge. By providing long-term finance under the current circumstances, the EBRD is making a significant contribution to Poland’s energy transition and demonstrating its commitments to its partners and strategic goals. We are delighted to engage for the first time with such strong partners as Qair and RGreen Invest in this,” he added
For his part, Qair Founder and Chairman Jean-Marc Bouchet said his company has been focused on the energy transition by developing, building and operating renewable assets in France, Europe and the rest of the world. “These financings from the EBRD and BNP Paribas of operating and new assets in Poland are a clear sign that Qair’s lifelong commitment to promoting green electricity is more relevant than ever and that the strategy that Qair has been pursuing in Poland for over five years is coming to fruition,” he said.
The EBRD said supporting Poland’s green transition with investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency remains one of the Bank’s priorities in the country.