AES Geo Energy is a private partnership company between the German Geo Power and AES, holding the majority stake. In 2009, AES Geo Energy built the 156 MW Saint Nikola Wind Farm near the town of Kavarna. With its 52 Vestas wind turbines erected, the Kavarna project is the largest wind farm in the country. Saint Nikola Wind Farm significantly increases Bulgaria’s capacity in the production of renewable energy and helps the country reaching the requirements of the 20/20/20 European Union Programme.
The total project investment was EUR 270 million, of which EUR 198 million were secured by a bank consortium, including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Financial Corporation and UniCredit Market & Investment Banking.
The idea of constructing Saint Nikola Wind Farm was borne in 2003 and the construction itself started in January 2009. Тhe last wind generator was erected in July 2009. In December 2009 Saint Nikola’s 33/110 kV step up substation was energized and put in operation. The commercial operation of the wind farm started in March 2010. Since 2009 AES Geo Energy has opened more than 500 work places for the construction period and 20 during the period of operation.
In recognition of the high standards maintained during the development and construction of Saint Nikola project, AES Geo Energy received two awards:
- the 2008 ” Sustainable Energy Deal of the Year” Prize from EMEA Finance Magazine,
- “Investor of 2009” in the Energy Sector by the Bulgarian Investment Agency for Production of Electric Power from RES.
Saint Nikola Wind Farm is situated on the land territory of the villages Bulgarevo, Hadzhi Dimitar, Poruchik Chunchevo and Sveti Nikola belonging to Municipality of Kavarna. It covers an area of 60 km². The project consists of 52 turbines connected to the wind farm’s substation by 33 kV underground cables with total length of 65 km. By means of a 110 kV connecting power transmission line the electricity produced is transmitted to the electricity grid of Bulgaria.
The project includes the construction of:
- 52 Wind Generators Vestas V90 3.0 MW
with active control of the blade angle and rotor position according to the wind speed and direction in order to optimize the electricity production. The wind generators also provide the opportunity for remote monitoring and control from centralized control room. They are of modern design that includes cylindrical tower, rotor with 3 blades and the nacelle, which hosts the generator, the transformer, the gear box, and the other operational installations. The height of the towers is 105 m and the rotor diameter is 90 m.
- 33 kV underground cables
The individual turbines are grouped in branches and are connected through an underground cable grid that consists of 65 km of cable routes. In order to achieve the project standards and minimize the transmission losses the grid is designed at 33 kV.
- 33/110 kV Substation
The electric energy produced by the turbines through the underground cable grid is delivered to Saint Nikola 33/110 kV step up substation. The substation is equipped with automated and control systems that meet the highest operational standards.
- 5.2 km of Power Transmission Line 110 kV
The high voltage transmission line consists of 35 electric pylons supporting power cables that connect the wind farm with the national electricity system.