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European wind giant is put up for sale

The 600MW Fantanele-Cogealac project in Romania is among assets considered for divestment by CEZ

One of the giants of European onshore wind power, the 600MW Fantanele-Cogealac project, has been put up for sale as owner CEZ seeks an exit from most of its operations in Romania.

Fantanele-Cogealac in the Romanian province of Dobrogea was for years the largest wind farm on the continent, and has only recently been surpassed by even larger onshore developments in Scandinavia and gigawatt-scale offshore projects.

This is the second time Czech utility CEZ has tried to offload Fantanele-Cogealac – a previous attempt to find a buyer or major investor was pulled in 2014.

Located near the shores of the Black Sea and equipped with 2.5MW turbines from GE, the project has a turbulent history before and since it was completed in 2012.

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Challenges have included planning disputes, rows with the wind farm’s original US developer and subsidy cuts in 2013 that brought development in Romania – until then one of Europe’s most promising wind markets – to a virtual standstill.

Industry body WindEurope last year urged Romania to introduce measures to reignite onshore wind development in the country.

Fantanele-Cogealac's place at the pinnacle of European wind has been taken by projects like the 650MW Markbygden Ett project completing in Sweden, and the 1.2GW Hornsea 1 offshore.

Its project company is one of seven Romania operations offered for divestment by CEZ under a revised corporate strategy. CEZ has invited non-binding offers for its Romanian businesses, which also include one of the country’s largest power distributors.

CEZ told Recharge last year that its future focus in wind power will be onshore development in Germany and France.

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