Electricity from Kostolac will soon come with the help of wind and not only coal, thanks to the help of the European Union. The wind park, not far from Belgrade, will be the first in the history of operations of Elektroprivreda Srbije.

Serbia and the EU are jointly working on the construction of a new wind farm that will have 20 turbines, installed at the locations of exhausted coal mines. This initiative not only marks a significant step towards reducing the country’s coal dependence, but also represents a specific commitment to fostering a cleaner environment and creating new jobs.

The agreement, which provides funding of the project for the construction of “Kostolac”, was signed today in Belgrade. Dubravka Đedović Handanović, Minister of Mining and Energy of the Republic of Serbia, together with the representatives of the KfW Office in Belgrade and “Elektroprivreda Srbije” (EPS), signed the agreement.

The event, organized in the Government building, was also attended by the Ambassador of the European Union to Serbia, Emanuele Giaufret, the Ambassador of Germany to Serbia, Anke Konrad and the Minister for European Integration, Tanja Miščević.

Emanuele Giaufret, the Ambassador of the European Union in Serbia, reminded of the broader importance of the project: “This project is not just a proof of Serbia’s commitment to green energy but also a cornerstone of our European Green Deal and Just Transition, promoting economic development while preserving our planet and citizens.”

“The Kostolac Wind Farm showcases our joint endeavour of moving away from coal. It symbolizes our dedication to reducing reliance on fossil fuels, decarbonising our economies and embracing renewable energy sources. The project is just one element of our wider support to Serbia in the energy sector which amounts to over 500 million Euros. We paid energy bills for vulnerable households and businesses, we modernise the energy system of the VMA hospital and we construct a new energy highway which brings greener and more secure energy to Serbia: the Trans-Balkan electricity corridor. The EU is thus Serbia’s most important partner in the field of energy”, said Giaufret.

“The agreement that we signed today is an important step in the implementation of the project to build the first EPS wind farm, the Kostolac Wind Farm, by rounding off the financial structure for the project worth 144 million euros. The production of this power plant and its 20 turbines, will be enough to supply around 30,000 households with green energy. The wind farm will be located on the site of the former coal mines and landfills of thermal power plants and Kostolac mines”, said Dubravka Đedović Handanović, Minister of Mining and Energy of the Republic of Serbia.

The Minister for European Integration, Tanja Miščević, said that the construction of the Kostolac Wind Farm confirms the partnership between Serbia, the European Union and the Federal Republic of Germany in the process of energy diversification and green energy transition.

“Around 30,000 households will benefit directly from this wind farm, not only due to production of electricity, but also environmental protection and reduction in the use of fossil fuels. Also, the project will have an impact on new employment in Kostolac and its surroundings in order to develop the use of RES”, said the Minister and added that Serbia has adequate projects that help us to assert ourselves in order to receive significant funds and grants from the EU.

The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Belgrade, Anke Konrad, said that Germany is a reliable partner in the field of energy transition and that, through the regional partnership, it is consistently focused on supporting the development of green energy in Serbia, as well as on energy connectivity in Europe.

“We are intensively investing, for example, in the energy rehabilitation of buildings in the public sector, such as the military hospital VMA or in the Trans-Balkan Corridor, which will not only connect the Western Balkans with the EU, but also increase the network capacity. In addition, we invest in the decarbonisation of heating plants, through the use of biomass such as wood chips or solar energy. In addition to infrastructure projects, in cooperation with the EBRD, we provide a loan to EPS as well as credit lines for commercial banks intended for small and medium-sized ecological enterprises, as well as green investments”, said Konrad.

The construction completion is planned for 2025. Financed with EU grant (worth 30 million euros) and a grant/loan from KfW (80 million euros – loan, 1,8 million euros – grant), the Kostolac Wind Farm will feature 20 wind turbines with a total installed power capacity of 66 MW (3.3 MW each). The total height of the wind turbines is 179 meters, with tower heights of 114 meters and blade lengths approximately 65 meters. Access roads and connections to state roads will be established for maintenance and operations, along with a grid connection facility (35/110 kV Substation and switchyard). Construction will take place in multiple locations, including Drmno, Petka, Ćirikovac and Klenovnik. The lifespan of the wind farm is projected to be 20 years.

The EU’s support in the energy sector of Serbia amounts to more than EUR 500 million since 2007. Another important project is the complete modernisation of the energy and heating system in the military hospital VMA for instance or the new gas interconnector with Bulgaria. By building this new gas pipeline, the EU helps Serbia to reduce CO2 emissions and become less dependent on Russian gas. With the Trans Balkan electricity corridor, the EU – with its partners – constructs a new electricity highway to connect Serbia with neighbouring countries and provides a greater level of energy security. The EU also provided financial support to the state budget for energy bills of vulnerable households and businesses.

EU Assistance to Energy Sector in Serbia

Detailed Project Information

Photo: Illustration