CEZ AS, the biggest Czech utility, said its wind park in eastern Romania, the largest in Europe, is expected to earn the company 1.3 billion koruna ($67 million) more in 2012 than it did the year before.
For the three quarters ended Sept. 30 CEZ earned 1 billion koruna more from its 600-megawatt Fantanele-Cogealac wind farm, before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, than it did for the same period in 2011, Barbora Pulpanova, a spokeswoman for Prague-based CEZ said by e-mail. This is expected to grow to 1.3 billion koruna for the full-year.
The increase in earnings is driven by the final completion of the wind farm and the connection of all the turbines to the grid, Pulpanova said. She declined to disclose the total earnings from the project.
CEZ connected the final turbine at the wind farm in the province of Dobrudja to the grid in November. It’s Europe’s biggest land-based wind facility and it generates enough power for as many as 1 million homes. CEZ has invested 1.1 billion euros ($1.5 billion) in the project.
When CEZ started building its wind farm in 2008 Romania had just 14 megawatts of installed wind capacity, said the spokeswoman. Since then the company has seen “large wind business development” in the country and predicts that within 10 years wind power will “significantly” help the country to boost its energy production from renewables.
Romania, which approved a law giving incentives to investments in renewable energy, had 982 megawatts of wind power installed at the end of 2011, more than double the 462 megawatts of capacity it had a year earlier, according to the European Wind Energy Association.
The incentives have been attracting investors including GDF Suez which said Dec. 21 it plans to develop a 50-megawatt wind park in the country’s southeast. On Dec. 17 a venture between Italy’s ERG SpA and Russia’s OAO Lukoil bought an 84-megawatt wind development in Romania.