Swedbank has issued a loan of EUR 5 million for the construction of Kalkūnes SPP

As a result of collaboration between the Latvian investment company Merito Partners (Merito) and Swedbank, a new solar power plant (SPP) Kalkūnes SPP with a capacity of 13 MW is currently under development in Augšdaugava district. This SPP will supply green energy to at least 6,500 households in the Daugavpils region next year. This project will receive a total investment of EUR 10 million, including EUR 4.9 million in funding from Swedbank. At the time of completion, Kalkūnes SPP will be the largest solar power plant in Latvia.

A total of 24,000 solar panels will be installed in the Kalkūnes SPP, projected to generate 13,500 MWh of electricity annually. This new power plant will be connected to the existing distribution infrastructure, ensuring that the solar electricity produced will be consumed by residents in Augšdaugava Municipality and Daugavpils.

Kalkūnes SPP is owned by Merito Sustainable Energy Fund I, which has engaged experienced experts from the company Saules Energy to supervise the project’s implementation. As the largest solar power plant operator in Latvia, the fund has commissioned four new SPPs this year in Zilupe, Brenguļi, Inčukalns, and Carnikava, with a combined capacity of 25 MW.

Kalkūnes SPP is scheduled to commence operations by the end of this winter, followed by three additional power plant projects in Koknese, Cēsis, and Valmiera by autumn 2024. Together these eight SPPs will generate at least 70,000 MWh of electricity annually, providing green energy to over 35,000 households in Latvia.

As Mikus Janvars, co-founder and Managing Partner of Merito Partners, explains, “Kalkūnes SPP is the second solar power plant developed by Merito Fund with co-financing from Swedbank. This year, Swedbank has allocated EUR 4.5 million in funding for the successfully launched solar power plant in Carnikava. Merito Sustainable Energy Fund I will invest a total of EUR 50 million in Latvia from over 63 private and institutional investors – a part of the financing has been secured through loans. We appreciate Swedbank’s commitment as the Baltic sustainability leader, contributing to this green infrastructure project funded by Latvian investors. The initiative is expected to benefit residents and different entities in Latgale and other regions of Latvia.”

According to Jevgenijs Ivanovs, Board Member and Head of the Corporate Banking at Swedbank, “At the core of Swedbank’s operations stand sustainable changes and environmentally friendly investments that contribute to the development of the Latvian economy. At present, when there is an urgent need to increase Latvia’s energy independence, we need to seek for opportunities to transform ourselves from electricity consumers into producers. The Latvian investors’ solar power plant project represents a significant step in this direction.”

Signet Bank invests EUR 750,000 into Merito Self Storage Fund to develop a network of self storage facilities in the Baltic States

AS Signet Bank has invested EUR 750,000 in the development of the largest self storage facility network in the Baltic States owned by the Merito Self Storage Fund, a specialized real estate fund managed by the Latvian investment company Merito Partners.  

This year, Merito has established a specialized real estate fund Merito Self Storage Fund with total target size EUR 30 million. The company also aims to secure around EUR 50 million in bank co-financing. Fund’s objective is to establish the largest pan-Baltic network of self storage facilities over the next five years. It will consist of more than 10 self storage facilities, with a total leasable area of at least 50,000 m2 and over 10,000 individual self storage units.  

According to Roberts Idelsons, Chairman of the Board of AS Signet Bank, “Signet Bank supports local entrepreneurs’ business growth not only with traditional bank loans but also through alternative instruments such as organizing share and bond issuances. For our economy to grow faster, we need sustainable business ideas that are scalable across a broader market. An excellent example is a plan to develop an international self storage network by the Latvian investment company Merito Partners. This project has a significant upside and potential return of investment. Given that this project currently requires capital investments, we have made the decision to invest in the Merito Self Storage Fund.” 

In developing the most ambitious self storage facility network in the Baltics, the Fund focuses on acquiring and converting existing under-utilized buildings. The fund’s first real estate transaction was the acquisition of the former ‘Go-Planet’ entertainment building on Gunāra Astras Street 2B, Riga in September 2023. With a total investment of EUR 6 million, the building will be transformed into one of the largest self storage facilities in Eastern Europe with approximately 10,000 square metres of leasable area.  

“We are delighted that AS Signet Bank has placed its trust in the potential of Latvian investors since the establishment of the fund. Merito Partners has successfully secured almost EUR 5 million in capital from over 10 Latvian investors and actively continues to fundraise. With the recent investment from Signet Bank, the fund’s total value is expected to reach at least EUR 10 million in the next few months. We are currently in active negotiations for the acquisition of additional properties, and we aim to conclude these discussions in the next months. This will allow us to further develop the self storage facility network in Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania,” explains Mārtiņš Baumanis, Partner and Co-Founder at Merito Partners.  

About Signet Bank 

Signet Bank was founded in 1991 and is one of Latvia’s first independent banks. The bank’s strategy focuses on providing financing and capital management services to local entrepreneurs and their businesses. Since the start of 2021, Signet Bank has provided customers with almost EUR 500 million of financing in the form of loans and bonds. Signet Bank’s shareholders are nine Latvian and international private investors, of whom the biggest is Signet Acquisition III (25%), whose sole shareholder is US investor Aleksandrs Solovejs; AS RIT Group (19.50 %), a Latvian company owned by the Rapoport family, and SIA Reglink (15.93 %), founded by banker Irīna Pīgozne.  

The newly commissioned Carnikavas SPP will now provide electricity for over 5,800 households in Ādaži municipality

‘Merito Partners’ in partnership with the renewable energy project developer ‘Saules Energy’, has opened Latvia’s largest solar power plant ‘Carnikavas SPP’, located in in Ādaži municipality. The project was implemented with EUR 8 million investment from Latvian investors and financing from Swedbank. Carnikava SPP has a capacity of 12 MW and will generate more than 12 300 MWh of electricity annually, which is equivalent to the electricity consumption of more than 5,800 households. 

The newly opened SPP is situated in Carnikava Parish within Ādaži municipality and spans 11.7 hectares with 22,300 solar panels installed. 

During the opening of Carnikavas SPP, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica, Saeima Deputy Speaker, emphasized: “With every kilowatt of electricity generated in Latvia, we are enhancing our security, economic strength, and most importantly, our independence. The construction of this solar power plant in Ādaži municipality marks a significant milestone in advancing energy independence for both the region and Latvia. The beneficiaries of the development of green infrastructure sites are both residents and businesses. I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the investors for their visionary initiative and investment. I encourage them to actively collaborate with Latvian scientists to jointly create innovative technologies that will enable the full utilization of renewable energy generated.” 

Carnikavas SPP is owned by Merito Sustainable Energy Fund I, the largest solar power plant operator in Latvia. This project was implemented in collaboration with experienced experts from Saules Energy. Carnikavas SPP is the fourth SPP commissioned by the fund this year and the total capacity of operational portfolio is 25 MW. The Fund plans to commence the next project Kalkūnes SPP, located in Augšdaugavas municipality, by the end of this year. Three additional solar plant projects are scheduled for 2024. Overall, eight SPPs will generate at least 70,000 MWh of electricity annually, providing green energy to over 35,000 households in Latvia.  

The solar power plants financed by the Merito Sustainable Energy Fund I are being constructed with a direct connection to the distribution infrastructure. This ensures that the generated electricity is available to its local consumers, including residents and businesses. 

“Ādaži municipality is one of the first regions in Latvia where environmentally friendly electricity is being generated by an industrial scale solar power plant. Working together, we must aim for an ambitious goal – to increase the share of renewable electricity nationwide to at least 70% by 2030. Sustainable energy production can provide greener and more cost-effective electricity with a stable consumption, while enhancing Latvia’s energy security. Each project that brings our country closer to a more environmentally friendly and climate-neutral policy sets a positive example to our society,” explained Kaspars Melnis, Minister of Climate and Energy

According to Mikus Janvars, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Merito Partners, “Carnikava SPP was funded by 63 Latvian investors and a EUR 4.5 million loan from Swedbank, with investment totalling EUR 8 million. Merito Sustainable Energy Fund I is investing EUR 50 million in total in green infrastructure projects. This investment not only strengthens Latvia’s energy independence but also offers significant potential for returns.” 

The general contractor for the Carnikava SPP project is a Latvian company KL Systems, with 12 years of experience in building industrial solar parks worldwide. During the construction and operation of Carnikavas SPP, significant attention has been paid to environmental protection and the preservation of biodiversity. For instance, the power plant’s territorial fence has been raised to allow smaller animals to freely access the territory, which also provides shelter to both amphibians and other animals. Furthermore, the project developers are actively building working relationships with local farmers so that the meadows on the SES site for the needs of beekeeping and grazing sheep next year.

Merito Partners commits over EUR 6 million to transform ‘Go Planet’ building into one of the largest self storage facilities in Eastern Europe

In September, Safe Storage Group, a portfolio company of Merito Self Storage Fund managed by Latvian investment company Merito Partners (Merito), acquired the ‘Go Planet’ entertainment centre building on Gunāra Astras Street 2B, Riga, for over EUR 2.7 million. Merito Partners plans to invest a total of EUR 6 million in transforming the building into the largest self storage facility in Eastern Europe. 

The ‘Go Planet’ building, spanning 15 025 m2, is situated on a 1.5656 ha plot of land. Safe Storage Group acquired the building via auction for EUR 2.791.700. An additional investment of EUR 3.5 million is planned for property refurbishment to develop one of the Eastern Europe’s largest self storage facilities with a leasable area of approximately 10 000 m². The facility will offer more than 1,600 individual self storage units in various sizes. 

According to Augusts Iesalnieks, co-founder and Chairman of the Board at the Safe Storage Group: “There is a rapidly growing demand for self storage facilities among both individuals and entrepreneurs. However, until now, there has not been a suitable offering widely available in the Latvian and Baltic markets. In developing the most ambitious self storage network in the Baltics, we are focusing on acquiring existing under-utilized buildings, such as ‘Go Planet’ building, to transform them into specialized self storage facilities. Refurbishment of ‘Go Planet’ building will be executed in multiple stages, with the first self storage facilities expected to be available to customers within the next 12 months.” 

The renovated self storage building will use energy-efficient construction solutions. The facilities will offer services facilitated by modern technologies, including a mobile app that provides instant access to the premises with one touch, as well as remote online transactions and automatic payment for services. Customers will have 24/7 access to the storage facilities. 

“The acquisition of the former ‘Go Planet’ building is the first investment by our specialized real estate fund Merito Self Storage Fund. We have devoted a long time to studying this property and carefully deliberated our decision to participate in the auction. The building has an outstanding location, situated close to the residential areas of Pļavnieki, Purvciems and Mežciems. Additionally, the building is in good technical condition and offers easy accessibility. Currently, we are actively engaged in the acquisition process for at least five additional properties in the Baltics. By the end of the year, our goal is to secure several additional properties to expand our network of self storage facilities across Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia,” explains Mārtiņš Baumanis, Partner at Merito Partners

Merito has established a specialized real estate fund Merito Self Storage Fund with total target size EUR 30 million. The company also aims to secure around EUR 50 million in bank co-financing. The Fund will develop the largest pan-Baltic network of self storage facilities over the next five years. It will be comprised of 15 to 20 self storage complexes with a total leasable area of at least 50 000 m2 and at least 10 000 individual self storage units. Merito Partners has successfully secured almost EUR 5 million in capital from over 10 Latvian investors and actively continues to fundraise. Over the next few months, the fund’s total value will reach at least EUR 10 million. 

The pension plan ‘CBL Aktīvais Ieguldījumu plāns’ managed by Citadele Group will invest EUR 4.5 million in ‘Merito Sustainable Energy Fund I’

The state funded pension scheme pension investment plan ‘CBL Aktīvais Ieguldījumu plāns’ managed by ‘CBL Asset Management’ will invest EUR 4.5 million in the alternative investment fund ‘Merito Sustainable Energy Fund I’. 

The alternative investment fund ‘Merito Sustainable Energy Fund I’ (Fund), managed by the investment company ‘Merito Partners’, is developing solar power plants in Latvia in collaboration with experts from the company ‘Saules Energy’. The Fund is the largest solar power plant operator in Latvia. In 2023, the Fund has successfully completed the construction of three solar plants in Zilupe, Brenguļi and Inčukalns with a total capacity of 12.9 MW.  The Fund will build a total of eight solar power plants with a total capacity of 70 MW by the end of 2024. The Fund will invest a total of EUR 50 million in the development of the eight solar power plants. The equity funding has been committed by 60 private and institutional investors, while debt is provided by Latvian commercial banks. 

“The concept behind the Merito fund aligns well with ‘CBL Asset Management’ overall philosophy in pension fund management. First, this provides us with another opportunity to invest in the Latvian economy, which is a challenging task given the relatively small and shallow local capital market. Second, this represents a commitment to environmentally friendly renewable energy and an investment in Latvia’s energy independence and security, which is vitally important at this moment. Third, the fund’s business plan and the active, motivated team give us reason to believe that our investment will yield financial benefit for CBL Active Pension Plan members,” explains Zigurds Vaikulis, Investment Director and Pension Plan Manager at CBL Asset Management. 

Mikus Janvars, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Merito Partners, says, “We are pleased that this ambitious green infrastructure project, driven by Latvian investors, has earned the trust of CBL Asset Management. This project directly benefits Latvia, as we aim to strengthen our country’s energy independence using local capital. This will be achieved by constructing a total of eight solar power plants connected to the local distribution infrastructure. As a result, the generated solar electricity will be accessible to residents and companies in nearby areas. As the share of renewable energy increases and reaches sufficient levels, we anticipate gradual reduction in electricity costs over time.” 

Merito Sustainable Energy FUND I, an alternative investment fund registered with the Bank of Latvia, is managed by Merito Partners, an investment company operating in Latvia and the surrounding region. It implements growth capital, sustainable energy and specialised real estate investment strategies on behalf of Latvian investors. Merito Management AIFM, 100% owned by Merito Partners, is an alternative investment fund manager registered with the Bank of Latvia.  

About Citadele Group   

Citadele’s mission is to modernise the financial sector and offer more opportunities to private individuals and businesses throughout the Baltics. In 2022, Citadele had 374,000 active customers in the Baltics and issued EUR 1.2 billion in new loans, with its total loan portfolio reaching EUR 2.9 billion, while total deposits reached EUR 3.9 billion.   

Alongside classic banking services, Citadele offers its clients a range of services based on next-generation financial technology, including its modern app, contactless payments and instant payments. Citadele was the first in the Baltics to introduce opening an account with a selfie, payment rings and payments to mobile numbers for private customers. Meanwhile, businesses make active use of our remote account opening and the chance to accept payments with the Citadele Phone POS app and Klix universal e-commerce tool, as well as applying for financing to develop their business.   

Citadele Bank is the Group’s parent company in Latvia, and its subsidiaries and branches operate in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.   

Merito Partners will develop Carnikavas solar power plant with the co-financing from Swedbank

Merito Partners, with co-financing from Swedbank, will construct the largest solar power plant (SPP) in Latvia this year. The SPP, with the capacity of 12 MW, will be commissioned in Carnikava, ensuring sustainable electricity for over 5,860 households in Carnikava and the surrounding residential areas. The total investment in Carnikavas SPP is EUR 8 million, with EUR 4.5 million in funding from Swedbank. This will be the largest solar power plant in Latvia to enter service this year at the time of commissioning. 

In September, 22,300 solar panels will be installed across 11.7 hectare area. Carnikavas SPP will have a capacity of 12 MW and is expected to generate a minimum of 12,300,000 kWh of electricity annually, equivalent to the average annual electricity consumption of 5,860 households.  

Mikus Janvars, co-founder and Managing Partner at Merito: “We are proud to announce our partnership with Swedbank on construction of the largest SPP in Latvia to date. Swedbank is not only the largest bank in Latvia, but also is the leading advocate for sustainability in the Baltics. We pay great attention to responsible business development. Throughout the SPP construction process, together with independent experts, we carefully evaluate and select suppliers with strong sustainability credentials. At the same time, by increasing the share of renewable energy in Latvia, we are protecting the environment and biodiversity. Drawing inspiration from industry leaders, we continuously innovate our practices, placing ever stronger emphasis on sustainability and responsible business conduct. In all our SPPs we are creating habitats for insects and bats. In the future, we plan to collaborate with local farmers, utilizing the solar power plant’s meadows to support bee colonies and sheep herds.” 

Solar energy is one of the most effective ways in which Latvia and other European countries can increase their energy independence from oil and gas. SPPs not only offer economic benefits, but also bring significant environmental and social advantages. Their construction does not involve significant territorial changes. SPPs are quiet and harmless to living creatures. At the end of service life, solar panels are efficiently recycled, ensuring that most components are reused. 

The Merito’s solar power plants are strategically connected to the distribution infrastructure. This allows for electricity generation to be close to consumers, benefiting both regional residents and businesses. Carnikava SPP is located directly opposite the Carnikava Substation.  

As Jevgenijs Ivanovs, Head of Corporate Division at Swedbank, explains “At a time when there is a nationwide discussion regarding the role of banks in the development of the country’s economy, we are delighted to announce that the largest SPP to be commissioned this year was made possible through the collaboration with Swedbank. This achievement serves as another testament to the support of sustainable business concepts by financial institutions due to their invaluable role in the growth of a new and higher-quality economy. Importantly, in a time marked by geopolitical uncertainties and the war in Ukraine, which have directly affected energy prices in Latvia, we are in the process of transitioning ourselves from net electricity importers to electricity exporters. The development of the largest solar plant in Latvia is large step in increasing our economy’s energy independence while decreasing our reliance on fossil fuels. Swedbank, which has long identified itself as a bank dedicated to fostering sustainable change, naturally aligns with projects that share our vision of a greener and more self-reliant economic future”. 

In all lending processes, Swedbank assesses sustainability risks based on the financing amount and the complexity of the business. Projects are also evaluated for the potential compliance with the Sustainable Finance Framework. Based on this framework, Swedbank may issue green bonds. Our green categories, such as solar power plants, align with the 2021 Green Bond Principles by International Capital Market Association’s (ICMA) and adhere to the EU Taxonomy technical screening criteria. 

The solar power plant ‘Carnikavas SES’ is owned by ‘Merito Sustainable Energy Fund I’, which is managed by the Latvian investment company ‘Merito Partners’. Merito Partners have partnered with experienced experts from Saules Energy to implement eight SPP projects in Latvia. The Carnikavas SPP will be Merito Partners’ fourth solar power plant to commence operation this year.

Merito Partners will invest EUR 80 million to develop a largest portfolio of self storage facilities in the Baltics 

The Latvian investment company Merito Partners (Merito) has established a specialized real estate fund ‘Merito Self Storage Fund’ (Fund) with total target size EUR 30 million. The company also aims to secure around EUR 50 million in bank co-financing. The Fund will develop the largest pan-Baltic network of self storage facilities in the Baltic States over the next five years.  

Merito Partners has successfully secured almost EUR 5 million in capital from over 10 Latvian investors and actively continues to fundraise. Over the next few months, the fund’s total value will reach at least EUR 10 million. Merito plans to acquire its first property and convert it into a self storage facility in the upcoming weeks. Currently, the fund is negotiating acquisitions of more than five separate properties throughout the Baltics. Merito has partnered with the leading real estate market companies and is evaluating numerous potential properties. The network of self storage facilities will be developed in key cities, including Riga, Vilnius, Kaunas, and Tallinn, with the potential for expansion into other major Baltic cities. 

According to Mārtiņš Baumanis, Partner at Merito Partners, “The self storage sector in Europe has experienced rapid expansion in recent years. Currently, there are nearly 6,000 specialised storage facilities. In Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, the available specialized storage space is approximately 4 square meters per 1,000 inhabitants. This is far behind European and Scandinavian countries, where this metric is more than ten times higher and the occupancy of facilities remain consistently high. In light of the market situation, we see a significant upside potential for business development and return on investment in the Baltics.” 

For the implementation of this project “Merito Self Storage Fund” has established SIA Safe Storage Group, which will focus on purchasing and converting existing, underutilized buildings into specialized storage facilities. The company was founded together with an experienced industry professional Augusts Iesalnieks, who is co-founder and Chairman of the Board of the Safe Storage Group. 

“In recent years, there has been a rapid increase in demand for storage facilities among individuals and entrepreneurs. Customers have various reasons for choosing self storage facilities, ranging from the need for secure spaces to safeguard company archives and store inventory, to long-term storage solutions for personal belongings. Some clients require temporary storage while moving or renovating a residence, or for storing seasonal inventory items. Small and medium-sized enterprises, particularly e-commerce companies, actively utilize storage facilities for cost optimization. This is a sustainable business model that provides an opportunity to repurpose underutilized urban properties into functional spaces that fulfil resident’s needs,” explains Augusts Iesalnieks, co-founder and Chairman of the Board at Safe Storage Group. The safe storage business model is environmentally friendly, benefits both private individuals and investors, and provides customers with safe, affordable, and flexible storage options. 

The average size of each self storage unit will range from 4 to 6 square meters. The network will consist of at least 10,000 units. All renovated self storage buildings will use energy-efficient construction solutions. The facilities will offer customers modern technology options, including a mobile app that provides instant access to the premises with one touch, as well as remote online transactions and automatic payment for services. Customers will have 24/7 access to their storage facilities.

 A new solar power plant in Inčukalns, Sigulda Municipality, has been commissioned

The largest solar power plant (SPP) has been built in Inčukalns, Sigulda Municipality.  A total investment of EUR 2.5 million of local capital has been invested in the construction of Inčukalns SPP, which will provide green electricity to 1,650 households. Throughout the construction process, a strong emphasis was placed on environmental protection and the preservation of biodiversity. 

More than 5,600 solar panels have been installed in the new power plant on 4.5 hectares. Inčukalna SPP has a capacity of 3.1 MW and will generate at least 3,300,000 kWh of electricity annually. This is equivalent to the average annual electricity consumption of 1,650 households. Additionally, energy trader and retailer “Virši” plans to build a fuel station alongside. 


Inčukalns SPP is owned by Latvian investment fund Merito Sustainable Energy Fund I, which has partnered with experienced experts from Saules Energy to implement SPP projects. A total of EUR 2.5 million has been invested in the development of new SPP, with equity from 58 investors and a loan of 1.2 million euros from AS Citadele banka. The general contractor for this project is a Latvian company KL Systems, which has 12 years of experience in building industrial solar parks across Europe.  

As Līga Sausiņa, Chair of Sigulda Municipality Council, explains, “Sigulda Municipality is proud to be among the first municipalities in Latvia with its own industrial-scale SPP. We look forward to continued investment by entrepreneurs in renewable energy sources in the municipality. Each investment represents a significant step towards promoting Latvia’s energy independence. Importantly, this green energy generation paves the way for more dynamic business development in the region.” 

Strong emphasis has been placed on preserving environmental biodiversity throughout the development of Inčukalns SPP. The territorial fence has been raised to allow smaller animals and amphibians to cross the area freely. Additionally, specially designed piles of boulders were integrated into the territory to provide shelter for wildlife, along with two bat houses on the site.  

The project implementers invite local farmers to collaborate and utilize the solar power plant’s meadow areas for the needs of bee colonies and sheep herds. 

“Thanks to Sigulda Municipality Council’s understanding of the importance and necessity of environmentally friendly infrastructure, Inčukalns SPP project has been implemented according to plan and the power plant is already operational. Since Latvia needs to make tangible progress in increasing its share of renewable energy, we have focused our efforts on projects that will start producing green and more affordable electricity. SPPs funded by the Merito Fund in Sigulda municipality and elsewhere are being developed with connection to the distribution infrastructure, as a result of which electricity is being generated close to its consumers – regional residents and companies. Such a strategy not only ensures stable consumption but also enhances the energy security of Latvia’s regions,” explains Artūrs Plūme, Chairman of the Board of Saules Energy.

Merito Partners commissions Latvia’s largest solar power plant in Brenguļi

Using EUR 6 million of local capital, largest solar power plant (SPP) in Latvia has been commissioned in Brenguļi, Valmiera district, paying particular attention to environmental protection and biodiversity preservation. This SPP will provide green electricity to almost 4,000 households.  

The new SPP has been built alongside Valmiera–Brenguļi–Bikseja road, two kilometres from Brenguļi and eight kilometres from Valmiera city centre. The owner of this SPP is Latvian investment fund Merito Sustainable Energy Fund I, which has partnered with experienced renewable energy project development experts Saules Energy, to implement SPP projects. The general contractor for this project is a Latvian company KL Systems, with 12 years of experience in constructing industrial solar parks in Europe and around the world. 

More than 12,300 solar panels are installed in Brenguļi SPP, spanning an area of 8.9 hectares. The new power plant will generate at least 7,500,000 kWh of electricity per year, equivalent to the average annual electricity consumption of 3,800 households. The generated electricity will be available to residents of Valmiera and other regions in Latvia. 

According to Raimonds Čudars, the Latvia’s Climate and Energy Minister, “With the initiative of local entrepreneurs, Latvia is taking significant steps to strengthen our country’s energy independence. Solar energy is one of the most efficient ways in which Latvia and other European countries can reduce dependence on oil and gas products by leveraging their own natural resources.” 

Brenguļi SPP is the second SPP opened this summer that are constructed as a part of the ambitious energy project of Merito Sustainable Energy Fund I. The new SPP has received an investment of EUR 6 million, with contributions from 50+ investors as well as a loan of EUR 2.8 million from AS Citadele banka. This is one of the first projects in Latvia to secure funding within the framework of an agreement between Citadele bank and the European Investment Bank (EIB) to secure funds from the EIB guarantee programme for Latvian companies. 

“Currently the development of green infrastructure in regions is critically important. Historically, during the summer months, Latvia has always experienced the highest electricity deficit, which had to be offset by electricity imports. Now, environmentally friendly electricity is generated instead, which will be beneficial for the residents and companies of Valmiera municipality,” emphasizes Andris Kulbergs, Chairman of the Saeima Subcommittee on Environment, Climate and Energy

As Ričards Gailums, Deputy Chairman of the Valmiera Municipality Council, explains, “Valmiera Municipality already has 10 SPPs at various stages of development, and we can take pride in the fact that the largest SPP in Latvia begun its operations in Brenguļi. Every green investment is a valuable asset that strengthens the energy independence of our district and region.”  

As demonstrated by the experience of countries where similar power plants have been in operation for decades, SPPs are not only economically beneficial but also environmentally and socially friendly. Their construction does not require significant territorial changes, and during their operation, they remain quiet and neutral to environment and surroundings. Strong emphasis has been placed on preserving environmental biodiversity in the construction process of Brenguļi SPP. The territorial fence has been raised to allow free movement of smaller animals and amphibians into the area. Specially designed piles of boulders have been incorporated in the territory to provide shelter for wildlife. Additionally, the project developers are fostering collaboration with local farmers, inviting them to utilize the solar power station’s meadows for bee colonies and sheep herding. 

To strengthen Latvia’s energy independence, Merito will invest EUR 50 million in the development of eight new SPPs across Latvia. The plan includes development of four additional SPPs with a combined capacity of 45 MW by the end of this year, distributed across various regions of Latvia. Additionally, two more SPPs are scheduled for 2024. Collectively, eight new SPPs will generate more than 70,000 MWh of electricity annually, providing sustainable energy to more than 35,000 households across Latvia. 

One of Merito’s upcoming SPPs will be constructed in Kauguri parish of Valmiera Municipality, where approximately 9,000 solar panels will be installed in a 6.9-hectare area. Valmiera SPP will be able to provide renewable energy to around 3,200 households annually. 

Citadele will co-finance the construction of Merito Partners largest solar power plant located in Sigulda municipality

This summer, the largest solar power plant in the district will start operating in Inčukalns, Sigulda municipality. The project is funded by the local investment company Merito Partners (Merito). Total cost of the project is EUR 2.17 million, with EUR 1.2 million secured from Citadele Bank.  

The Inčukalns solar power plant (SPP) will be built on an area of 4.5 hectares in Inčukalns parish. 5,600 solar panels will be installed on an area equivalent to six football fields, adjoining a to-be constructed Virši fuel station.  

Preparation of the site has been completed, and the construction of power plant structures and cables has begun. This summer, solar panels will be installed on the SPP site, followed by testing and commissioning of the power plant by the autumn. The capacity of Inčukalns SPP will be 3.1 MW, and it is expected to generate at least 3,300,000 kWh of electricity per year, which is equivalent to the average annual electricity consumption of 1650 households.  

According to Mikus Janvars, co-founder and Managing Partner at Merito Partners: “We are delighted with Citadele’s trust in this green infrastructure project implemented by Latvian investors. This will strengthen Latvia’s energy independence and, thanks to both the bank’s financing and the contribution of investors, this year the residents of Sigulda municipality will have access to green, solar-generated electricity.” 

“This is already the second solar power plant that we are financing in cooperation with the project developers Merito. We are certain that Inčukalns SPP and Brenguļi SPP will soon be joined by other power plants that will help strengthen Latvia’s energy independence,” says Vaidas Žagūnis, Board Member and Head of Corporate Client Management at Citadele Bank in the Baltics. 

Inčukalns SPP is owned by the Latvian investment company Merito Partners, which has collaborated with experienced experts from the company Saules Energy for project development. In partnership with Saules Energy, Merito is developing portfolio of eight solar power plants in Latvia. Inčukalns SPP will be among the first to start producing electricity this year. 

About Citadele Group  

Citadele’s mission is to modernise the financial sector and offer more opportunities to private individuals and businesses throughout the Baltics. In 2022, Citadele had 374,000 active customers in the Baltics and issued EUR 1.2 billion in new loans, with its total loan portfolio reaching EUR 2.9 billion, while total deposits reached EUR 3.9 billion.  

Alongside classic banking services, Citadele offers its clients a range of services based on next-generation financial technology, including its modern app, contactless payments and instant payments. Citadele was the first in the Baltics to introduce opening an account with a selfie, payment rings and payments to mobile numbers for private customers. Meanwhile, businesses make active use of our remote account opening and the chance to accept payments with the Citadele Phone POS app and Klix universal e-commerce tool, as well as applying for financing to develop their business.  

Citadele Bank is the Group’s parent company in Latvia, and its subsidiaries and branches operate in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.