Bucharest, 17 June 2024: Actis-backed Rezolv Energy and Low Carbon, through their project subsidiary First Looks Solutions S.R.L., have selected Vestas as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) partner for the first phase of the ‘VIFOR’ wind farm in Buzău County, Romania. Phase 1 will install 192MW in capacity, with planned expansion to 461MW in Phase 2.

The first phase of the VIFOR project will involve the installation of 30 EnVentus Vestas V162 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 6.4MW. The turbines have a tower height of 166 metres and a rotor diameter of 162 metres. 

Once operational, VIFOR will be one of Europe’s largest onshore wind farms. Close to the Carpathian Mountains and benefiting from exceptional wind yields, the project will generate enough clean energy to power more than 270,000 homes and will avoid approximately 540,000 tonnes of CO2e annually. The project will support Romania in meeting its climate targets and play an important role in the region’s energy transition.

Last month, the Romanian Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE) issued the setting-up authorisation for the first phase of the VIFOR project. This was the final approval required.  Construction is scheduled to be completed within 18 months, with VIFOR coming onstream before the end of 2025. 

Vestas’ role as EPC partner will involve working alongside Rezolv and Low Carbon to implement the Environmental and Social Management Plan for VIFOR. Rezolv’s sustainability strategy has been built on industry best practice and aligns with international standards, including the Equator Principles and the International Finance Corporation (IFC)’s Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability. One of its pillars is striving to ensure that each of its renewable energy plants supports flourishing and sustainable ecosystems. 

In addition to the environmental benefits, VIFOR will create local jobs during both the construction and operational phases, deliver economic benefits, and support community initiatives in Buzău County aimed at ensuring that the project leaves a lasting, positive legacy for local people.

Last week, finance loan facilities of up to €291 million were secured to support the Phase 1 construction from a consortium of eight lenders led by Erste Group, UniCredit Group and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, as well as the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Intesa Sanpaolo Group, OTP Bank, Raiffeisen Bank International AG and Garanti BBVA Romania. Phase 1 is also underpinned by five landmark commercial power purchase agreements (PPAs). 

Alastair Hammond, CEO, Rezolv Energy, said: “The VIFOR wind farm will play a significant role in reducing Romania’s dependence on fossil fuels, enhancing the country’s energy security and improving air quality. Vestas, as the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturer and with the greatest number of MWs installed in the region, is a natural partner for this, the first large wind farm in the CEE/SEE region in the past 10 years. Crucially, Vestas also shares our commitment to the responsible and sustainable development of renewable energy projects, which made them a natural choice for VIFOR.”

Martin Langham, Managing Director at Low Carbon said: “We are delighted to reach this major milestone in the development of the VIFOR wind project, which is a result of the tireless efforts of the team and our Rezolv partners over several years. The EPC agreement with the leading wind turbine manufacturer, Vestas, will be one of the largest contracts of its kind in Europe reinforcing our track record for delivering clean energy infrastructure on this scale. Furthermore, the project will play a key role helping Romania to decarbonise its electricity grid and accelerate the energy transition in Eastern Europe.”

Nils de Baar, President of Vestas Northern and Central Europe, said: “VIFOR will become one of the largest onshore wind projects in the region, contributing significantly to Romania’s energy transition ambitions. Vestas is pleased to deliver this order as a turnkey project, and our thanks go to our partners for the great collaboration and their trust in our industry leading technology.”

Rezolv Energy was launched 18 months ago by Actis, a leading global investor in sustainable infrastructure, and already has well over 2GW of clean energy being prepared for construction in South Eastern Europe. As well as the VIFOR wind farm, projects include Dama Solar in western Romania which, at 1,044MW, will be the largest solar plant anywhere in Europe once it is built, the 600MW Dunarea East & West Wind Farms in Romania’s Constanța County, and St. George, a 229MW solar project in north-eastern Bulgaria.