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The EIB has signed a EUR 180m financing agreement with a project company sponsored by GE and Green Investment Group Limited. The agreement supports the construction and operation of the largest onshore wind farm on European territory so far. 179 wind turbines will be built near the Northern Swedish city of Piteå, close to the Arctic Circle.

Of the EIB financing EUR 100m are backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). EFSI is the central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe, which was launched by the EIB Group and the European Commission to boost the competitiveness of the European economy. EUR 80m of the EIB financing is covered by a guarantee provided by the German Export Credit Agency, Euler Hermes.

GE Renewable Energy will supply 179 of its 3.6 MW turbines with 137 meter rotors, a turbine ideally suited for the project site’s wind speeds and climate. Additionally the turbines will be equipped with de-icing technology.

“This fascinating project supported by the EIB is taking the use of wind energy to a new level,” said Alexander Stubb, EIB Vice-President responsible for EIB operations in Northern European countries. “It will help Sweden to expand its renewable energy sector even beyond the objective set by the EU and makes the continent more sustainable and greener.”

The Project is part of the first phase of “Markbygden 1101”, the largest single site onshore wind farm in Europe, and is expected to be completed by 2020.

European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: "Investing in renewable energy by building wind farms helps to access affordable, clean and secure energy. However these large, innovative projects involve a higher level of risk for investors, which is where the Investment Plan comes in, providing its guarantee to enable other investors to come on board. The construction of this ground-breaking wind farm will confirm Sweden's position as one of the most forward-looking, sustainable countries in the EU."

Brian Ward, Head of Global Markets, GE Energy Financial Services, said, “Markbygden ETT represents GE’s and Macquarie’s unique abilities to bring together technology and investing expertise to structure integrated off-take and financing solutions. EIB’s support and flexibility was instrumental to the financing package, which enabled the project to reach financial close in the competitive Nordic onshore wind market and achieve many market firsts.”

Edward Northam, Head of the Green Investment Group in Europe, said, “This project is a landmark transaction on many fronts and represents the new frontier in European onshore wind. It demonstrates that in the right market, with the right location, the right technology and the right partners, it is possible to develop and attract private capital into new onshore wind farms.”