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EIB and UniCredit Bank finance development of one of the largest wind farms in Austria

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EIB and UniCredit Bank Austria will provide €107,4 million for the development of a 143MW wind farm in Austria.

When completed the wind farm will provide around 90,000 households with electricity produced from renewable sources.

“With this fresh start after the coronavirus crisis, we now have a unique opportunity to join forces and drive the Austrian economy’s transition to a sustainable, climate-friendly system. Banks bear a particular responsibility in this task because the business decisions we make are capable of generating far greater leverage than those of any other sector.”

Susanne Wendler, board member of UniCredit Bank Austria’s Unternehmerbank.

By 2030 Austria plans to generate all of its energy supply using renewable energies. Significant measures in the form of repowering of wind turbines have already been taken to achieve this goal.

In the municipalities of Gols and Mönchhof in Burgenland one example of these repowering projects can be found.

Construction was initiated in the fall of 2019, and is scheduled to finish by the end of 2021. The entire wind farm will have a capacity of 143 MW and will provide electricity generated from renewable sources to about 90 000 households.

The project is one of Austria ‘s biggest wind farms, with its 26 turbines.

The farm will be managed by PÜSPÖK Group. Since the late 1990s this family business based in Burgenland has been developing and operating wind farms in Austria, currently providing electricity to 160 000 households in the country.

Equity volume and borrowed capital for the wind farm’s planned investment total €143 million. The EIB offers a direct loan of €71.6 million and an intermediated loan of €35.8 million to UniCredit Bank Austria for the total portion of borrowed capital of €107.4 million.

The direct loan from the EIB is backed by a guarantee from the EFSI, the financial foundation of Europe’s investment program. Under this program, the EIB and the European Commission cooperate as strategic partners to improve the European economy’s competitiveness.

“Austria is emphatically pursuing its changeover to a sustainable, competitive and secure energy supply. The development of wind power is playing an important role in this energy transition. We are therefore very pleased to welcome the cooperation with the PÜSPÖK Group and the construction of a new wind farm in the state of Burgenland, which has been a trailblazer for wind power in Austria. As the EU climate bank, we have made the transition to renewable sources of energy a key policy objective and a priority sector for our financing.”

Andrew McDowell, EIB vice president responsible for operations in Austria.

“Today the European Union confirms its commitment to supporting renewable energy in Austria and to helping the country to meet its decarbonisation targets. This financing under the Investment Plan for Europe will lead to the construction of a 143 megawatt wind farm, which will bring clean energy to around 90 000 households in the state of Burgenland. Through projects like this, we will reach the goals of the European Green Deal and achieve climate neutrality by 2050.”

Paolo Gentiloni, European Commissioner for the economy.

“This repowering project triples the energy produced over the same surface area, testifying to the technological and economic progress made in the use of wind power in the last 20 years. This marks a milestone in Austria’s path towards achieving its climate goals. Further major efforts are needed to address the climate crisis. A long-term positive framework for the development of renewables must finally become a reality.”

Lukas Püspök, managing partner of PÜSPÖK Group.
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