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The European Investment Bank (EIB) has made available its first funding within the solar energy sector in Poland by approving a €18 million ($20 million) loan to be leveraged by Energy Solar Projekty.

Energy Solar Projekty will build 66 small-scale solar PV plants with a combined capacity of up to 66MW, serving the equivalent of 19,000 households and reducing 47,000 tons of carbon dioxide per annum. The solar portfolio will produce 68,000MWh of energy in the first year.

Poland had installed 1.3GW of solar by the end of 2019, according to a statement.

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The project is guaranteed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and will contribute to the development of renewable energy sources in Poland.

The EIB is co-financing the project with DNB Bank Polska, each bank providing 50% of senior debt (total amount PLN 164 million).  Owners of Energy Solar Projekty sp.z o.o., Energy and Infrastructure SME Fund, will put around 30% of total funding needs of the project.

The projects will be sited in northern Poland, in the Voivodships of West Pomerania, Pomerania, Warmia-Masuria and Kuyavia-Pomerania.

Teresa Czerwinska, the vice president of EIB, said: “Photovoltaics play a role in the decarbonisation of the energy sector and are a fast-growing industry in many countries. Poland is no exception. The auction system introduced by the government has generated a lot of interest from domestic and international investors, as shown here by the Lithuanian company Lords LB Asset Management. This is the first concrete project financed by the EIB under a programme loan dedicated to solar energy in Poland and approved in 2018. We hope more will come to life in the near future”.

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Domas Kacinskas, Board Member at Lords LB Asset Management and Manager of Energy and Infrastructure SME Fund pointed: “This loan will enable Energy and Infrastructure SME Fund to build on its momentum and expand its operations as the independent provider of energy services in Poland, with a stronger emphasis on smart energy management systems and solutions for energy efficiency. Investing in expansion of renewable energy sources will make a major contribution to combating climate change, while also saving on energy bills. Through this project, we aim to increase our competitiveness and make a significant contribution to accelerated decarbonisation of energy sector.”