The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing a EUR 140 million loan to finance wind farms in Lower Austria. A first EUR 28 million instalment was signed today in Bruck by EIB Vice-President Wilhelm Molterer and Dr Thomas Uher, CEO of Austria’s Erste Bank, which will act as the financial intermediary.

The loan will finance the construction of wind farms with a total capacity of 150 MW in the Lower Austrian municipalities of Bad Deutsch-Altenburg, Petronell Carnuntum, Höflein, Rohrau, Bruck an der Leitha, Hof and Seibersdorf. The renewable energy specialist and project promoter Energiepark Bruck will build and operate the facilities. Turbines for the first wind farms will be obtained from the manufacturer Enercon.

With this project, Austria is taking forward the expansion of its renewables capacity with the aim of achieving its own and the EU 2020 climate action targets, which include increasing the share of renewable energy production in the EU to 20% by 2020.

At the signing ceremony, Wilhelm Molterer said: “Austria is continually building up its renewables capacity. The commitment of experienced smaller companies as well as large corporates is enabling the switch to sustainable power generation. And an enormous contribution is also being made by Austria’s banks, which are proving to be reliable financing partners.

Erste Bank’s CEO Thomas Uher added: “As a bank we feel a responsibility towards this sector. The energy transition has to be financed. Financing needs in this area over the next few years will be huge. Windpower capacity alone in Austria is set to increase from today’s 1 400 MW to 3 000 MW by 2020. This requires funding, and we stand ready to provide it.

Michael Hannesschläger, Managing Director of Energiepark Bruck/Leitha GmbH, said: “Our wind farm projects and we ourselves have been under scrutiny, and we have shown ourselves to be dependable professional partners in the development and implementation of projects at European level.”

Renewables are one of the EIB’s financing priorities in Austria, which since 2011 has received EUR 0.5 billion for windpower projects alone.