BELGRADE, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Belgian renewable energy firm Elicio NV said on Friday its 42 megawatt (MW) Alibunar wind farm in northern Serbia will start operating in October and help the Balkan country diversify its energy mix and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The wind farm, which has 21 wind turbines provided by German wind turbine manufacturer Senvion, is the first large-scale farm to connect on Serbia's grid. Elicio NV already operates the 8 MW Malibunar wind farm in Serbia.
The Alibunar farm, was built at a cost of 80 million euros ($93.60 million), financed mainly through a syndicated loan provided by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and a number of commercial banks, a spokeswoman for Elicio's Serbian branch told Reuters.
The project will help reduce Serbia's carbon emissions by more than 120,000 tonnes per year.
She said the company has earned a status of a temporary privileged electricity producer and signed a power purchase agreement with the state-run power utility Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) for 12 years.
Serbia, which produces 70 percent of its energy from coal and the rest from hydropower, aims to generate 27 percent of its energy consumption from renewables by 2020.
The country's energy minister said this week it will have 500 MW of installed wind power capacity by 2020.
$1 = 0.8547 euros Reporting by Maja Zuvela in Sarajevo, editing by Louise Heavens