© Edison

The financing provided by the European Investment Bank represents its largest loan for Italy's wind power sector in 2017 and will be used by E2i Energie Speciali to build eight wind farms with a total capacity of 165 MW in Abruzzo, Basilicata, Campania, Puglia and Sicily.

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the EU bank that finances projects in support of the European Union's objectives, has granted Edison a EUR 150 million line of credit to finance the construction of wind farms with a total capacity of 165 MW by E2i Energie Speciali, owned by Edison and F2i (Fondi Italiani per le Infrastrutture). The loan – the largest granted in the wind power sector in Italy in 2017 – will be used to complete the eight wind power projects awarded to E2i in the auction held by GSE (the state-owned renewable energy promoter) in 2016.

"Granting us this line of credit”, explained Marc Benayoun, Edison's Chief Executive Officer, “encourages our dedication to renewable energy development – and to wind power and hydroelectric power in particular – while also highlighting the EIB's appreciation for the validity of this project, which supports sustainable development, especially in southern Italy.”

"This important financing operation underlines the central role and constant attention dedicated to renewable sources at the European level and helps further strengthen E2i's position as a leader in wind power development in Italy, with the support of a major financial institution like the EIB, which through this loan has recognised the validity of our projects," remarked Mauro Miglio, Senior Partner at F2i SGR and Chief Executive Officer of E2i Energie Speciali.

"In accordance with the European Union's objectives, the EIB regards combating climate change as one of the pillars of its lending activity, and we are particularly satisfied with our collaboration with Edison and E2i in this area, not least due to the geographical location of the new wind farms," commented Andrea Tinagli, Manager of the EIB's Italian office.

The EUR 150 million loan may be deployed in multiple tranches, each with a term of 15 years, and will be available for 24 months, in keeping with E2i's planned investments in new wind power capacity. There are currently six facilities under construction, including both new wind farms and full refurbishment projects in Abruzzo, Basilicata, Campania and Sicily. Work in Puglia is also set to break ground later this year.

The new wind farms will increase Italy's renewable power capacity, thus contributing to the national objectives indicated in the National Energy Strategy, whilst the full refurbishment projects will take advantage of technological progress in the area of wind turbines to increase plant capacity and reduce the number of turbines installed. The additional generation capacity will enable E2i to expand its plant portfolio to a total of over 700 MW.