The European Investment Bank (EIB) is set to finance one of the biggest wind power infrastructure projects in Spain to date: the construction of 21 wind farms in Andalusia, Asturias, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla León, Galicia and Navarra. These new facilities will have a total capacity of 547 MW and will generate approximately 1.491 GWh of energy a year overall, a volume equivalent to the power use of 360 000 Spanish homes. It is one of the largest wind power projects financed by the EIB in Spain following its contribution to the financing of the Goya project.
The wind farms included in this project were winning bids in the renewable energy auction that took place in Spain in July 2017, and have been developed by the Alfanar group. The EU bank will provide the project with several loans totalling up to EUR 385m for construction and implementation. The two entities have already signed the first of these, under which the EIB is providing EUR 44.2m to develop the first phase of the project. This EU bank financing, together with the additional loan from various financial institutions, will be provided via a Project Finance arrangement for the construction of the first four wind farms, which will have a capacity of around 99 MW.
The loan was signed under the Investment Plan for Europe (known as the Juncker Plan) whose support increases the EIB Group’s capacity to finance investment projects that by their structure or nature have a higher risk profile. This project will not receive any public sector support and is one of the first to be implemented under the new regulatory framework for the industry approved in Spain in 2013.
Promoting renewable energies is one of the EU bank’s priorities as the world’s biggest financer of climate action projects. Once they become operational, the 21 wind farms will help cut greenhouse gas emissions in Spain and expand the production of clean energy using renewable sources. The construction phase will require the employment of 1 900 people, and 170 people will need to be taken on permanently to operate the wind farms.