Windvision decided to the group level to extend its portfolio, so at the moment, we are exploring possibility to start project development of PV power plant of 80MW installed capacity, also in Vojvodina.
The company Windvision is active in Serbia since 2010 when it began developing the project of construction of wind power plants ‘Alibunar’ with total installed capacity of 174 MW. We spoke with Mrs. Neda Lazendić, WindVision Country Manager about challenges they faced out in Serbia, business activities and plans, as well as experience during a buildingof a wind park: “Both, development and operations are long-term activities. Compared to running, our business is being seen as a marathon rather than a sprint race,” said Mrs. Lazendić.
Windvision works on two continents and in eight countries, in Serbia as well. How COVID-19 global pandemic will affected so called “green energy” and what will be the consequences in Serbia?
Windvision has been company withvery developed “sense of human” alsobefore pandemic situation, so this wasthe usual challenge for the managementto put the health and security of the employeesand their families as the definedpriority. Fortunately, none of our contactshave not been infected so in myopinion, that goal has been achieved.Besides that, since Windvision`s businessactivity is development of projectsof construction of power plants usingrenewable energy sources mostly windand sun, organization of home workwas not that challenging. Each teammember put the maximum effort thateverything runs smoothly, and thanksto the new technologies even daily followup meetings have been very trueto original.
“Windvision has been company with very developed “sense of human” also before pandemic situation”
Serbia is moving well in this direction, and wind plays the most crucial role in moving closer to the threshold intime. What Serbia needs to do in order to fasten the development of this industry sector?
Having in mindgeneral European binding target that 32% of total energy consumption to be from renewable energy sources until 2030, I would dare to say that Serbia is moving well in this direction. Wind plays the crucial role in moving closer to the threshold in time, as well as to upgrade national energy diversity. First round of wind farms with granted “feed in tariff” have been constructed and connected to the grid, so now it is the time for the switch to “premia” system when all marker participants should bid concurrent electricity price. In this transition to a competitive procurement scheme for renewable energy, the Serbian Ministry of Mining and Energy has requested the assistance of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in the preparation and implementation of competitive renewable energy auctions, and implementation of this goal is of the highest interest of energy sector of Serbia.
How long did entire process from the decision to build a wind parkthrough location selection to opening, and what are experiences of WindVision in Serbia since the beginning?
Compared to running, our business is to be seen as a marathon rather than a sprint race. In other words, both development and operations are long-term activities. We need to make sure various technical, legal, macroeconomic, and political conditions are met before we even consider investing. Windvision started its business activity 2010, but first 3 years were actually spent on exploring the environment. So I would say that it took us 6 years to secure fully permitted project of construction of wind farm Alibunar of total capacity 174MW and to initiate development of new portfolio of Wind farm Banat projects of total capacity 332MW.
How important is it for you a foreign investor in Serbia to have local support, from local authorities, state support, etc.?
Local support is of the crucial importance for investments of the range as wind farm. We consider municipality Alibunar, where our projects are located, as a partner. We have our local office there and on daily basis, we communicate both with local authorities and with citizens meeting our project goals together and do our best to improve their life standards. I will take this opportunity to thank all official institutions involved in permitting for renewable energy projects, primarily Ministry on mining and energy, Provincial Secretariat for Energy, Construction and Transport and all institutionsof Alibunar, for all the efforts they are making for the progress that is constant and obvious.
Serbia works constantly on a making a better environment for investors. You are a member of DSBA. What can be done more in our country in order to attract more Dutch`s investors?
I feel privileged to be board member of DSBA, representing my company but also the interests of the Dutch business community as a whole. While we are an association that is very young, we gather important companies for the Serbian economy. Our idea with the association is to be able to promote the Dutch business culture, business ethics, strongand importance of the public-private dialogue. We believe that the consultation process between businesses, the Government, and us will contribute to a higher quality of regulations and lower the compliance costs wherever possible. We are committed to cooperating with other business associations and most importantly, The Embassy of The Netherlands and its economic and agricultural departments. In my view, we need even more joint work and associations within our economy, as this is probably the best way to promote your business and advocate for regulatory improvements.
“My team and I will use this 2020 to finalize project development of Banat project in order to be ready to participate on the auctions”
How did you personally respond to this global crisis, and with what challenges you have faced as a Country manager?
Since I am mother of 2 boys, I have to point out that home work was very challenging both for myself and the boys. I had to organize myself more efficient and they have to understand that, although in pajamas, mom has to work :). Period behind us was a quite lesson for me what are the real life priorities and I am very happy to be back in the office with my team.
What will be your business goals, and future projects to the end of this year?
My team and I will use this 2020 to finalize project development of Banat project in order to be ready to participate on the auctions. Also, Windvision decided to the group level to extend its portfolio, so at the moment, we are exploring possibility to start project development of PV power plant of 80MW installed capacity, also in Vojvodina.