Italian hydroelectricity company Iniziative Bresciane S.p.A. (INBRE) has secured a €49 million ($55.5 million) loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to modernise existing and build new infrastructure in Tuscany.
INBRE will build 12 small run-of-the-river hydroelectric plants along Arno River, as well as restore 13 river weirs in partnership with Iniziative Toscane S.r.l. (Intos).
The weirs will help reduce flooding and improve INBRE’s water management and in the process enhance the river’s climate resilience. INBRE says it will also plant trees along the river to reduce the environmental impact of pre-existing architectural elements and preserve local biodiversity.
The project is expected to add 10MW of hydroelectricity capacity to INBRE’s portfolio, and up to 55GWh of electricity per annum, the equivalent of energy required to power 22,600 households a year, according to the statement.
The loan will be issued through the EIB’s Green Developer Financing Programme which aims to expand the bloc’s renewable energy, energy efficiency and green mobility deployment as part of the bank’s climate action funding.
The loan is also expected to help Italy to move closer to its energy decarbonisation and climate mitigation goals. Moreover, the more renewable energy is integrated into the grid, the more consumer bills become affordable.
Owing to the pro-renewables policies introduced by the Italian government in recent years and the liberalisation of the market, Italy is well on track to achieve its 2030 target of clean resources accounting for 55% of the total energy mix, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
However, IEA urges the government to revise its subsidies, incentives and measures aimed at bringing the renewables deployment costs down and shift towards international benchmarks.
Chairman of INBRE’s Board of Directors, Battista Albertani, said: “We are very pleased to have achieved a significant result by signing this EIB financing, with which INBRE is emphasising its commitment to merging economic and financial prerogatives with socio-environmental ones.
“In our business connected to generating renewable energy, this is more important than ever. We hope that this project will help to capture the value of our efforts to pursue a balanced development model and long-term continuous and sustainable growth.”