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Italian Ministry of Defense collaborates with the eeef’s Technical Assistance Facility to refurbish the Ducal Palace of Modena

The Italian Ministry of Defense (Ministero della Difesa) is the third public authority to benefit from eeef’s Technical Assistance Facility (TAF). The TAF will provide services for the building retrofit project at the historical Ducal Palace in Modena, Italy.

The Ducal Palace of Modena is one of the most important historical public buildings in Italy. The Palace was the residence of the Este Dukes of Modena for more than two centuries and is today owned by the Italian government. It stands on a site previously occupied by a castle built in the 13th century by Obizzo d'Este, Marquis of Ferrara. In 1598, Modena became the capital of the Este Duchy and there were requirements for a European court to be built. Duke Francesco I d'Este commissioned the building of the Ducal Palace in 1634 by the architect Bartolomeo Avanzini, with contributions by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Francesco Borromini and Gaspare Vigarani. The architecture of the Palace reveals a unitary style, a solemn and elegant baroque and, for its size and splendor, is among the most prestigious palaces in Europe. The Ducal Palace was the seat of the Estense Court until the last Duke Francesco V of Austria-Este (1859) when it became the Military school of Central Italy.

The building is currently used by the Ministry of Defense and houses the headquarters of the Military Academy where military students are trained. Additionally, part of the Eastern Tower of the Palace houses the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia’s (UNIMORE) geophysical/meteorological observatory and the first floor is used as a museum where guided tours are offered by the Municipality of Modena.

The Italian Ministry of Defense’s Energy Task Force identified that an Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) model could provide a solution for energy refurbishment of the Military Academy. The Energy Task Force and UNIMORE completed a concept feasibility study which indicated a potential project volume of EUR 8.1m. This investment volume identifies it is necessary to invest circa. EUR 5m in upgrading space heating systems and circa. EUR 3.1m for building envelope upgrades.

eeef’s TAF will provide consultancy services to complete fully-fledged feasibility studies within the Palace to clearly identify the current infrastructure and propose appropriate improvement measures within a building of such historical value. From the concept study completed by the Energy Task Force and UNIMORE it is anticipated the upgrades will include new heating systems and building envelope energy conservation measures such as wall insulation. All of the recommendations will be in compliance with the architectural constraints required by law to protect the historical heritage of the Palace. The proposed measures will help to maintain one of the most historical buildings in Italy according to latest energy standards and offer the military students and staff access to a better learning environment.

eeef is welcoming other European public authorities to follow in the footsteps of the City of Gijón, the Province of Ferrara, and the most recent example of the Italian Ministry of Defense in launching comparable projects – the eeef Technical Assistance is available for further applications. Please visit: http://www.eeef.eu/eeef-ta-facility.html

The eeef Technical Assistance Facility (eeef TAF) has also received funding from the ELENA Facility under Horizon 2020 Programme of the European Union and is assisting public authorities to prepare feasibility studies, energy audits, evaluate the economic viability of investments and launch the tender process.

The Italian Ministry of Defense via its Energy Task Force arm is a reliable partner to carry out and manage this unique project. The Energy Task Force was born two years ago nevertheless its staff has a consolidated experience in the field of energy efficiency and public works.

The European Energy Efficiency Fund (eeef) S.A., SICAV-SIF is a “societé d’investissement à capital veriable” governed by Luxembourg law and was initiated by the European Commission in cooperation with the European Investment Bank. The initial capitalization provided by the European Commission was increased with contributions from the European Investment Bank, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti as well as the Investment Manager Deutsche Bank.

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Three projects in two countries completed their final stage under European Commission Technical Assistance managed by eeef

The European Commission TA Facility linked to the eeef is proving to be a powerful tool for public authorities to receive the capacity needed (whether internally or externally) for elaborating on their potential investment plans for green investment programmes, in particular the feasibility and bankability of planned projects. Three further projects completed the final stage of TA successfully, including the Spanish Cities of Terrassa and Marbella as well as the Portuguese public authority Alentejo Central (CIMAC).

The TA beneficiaries have been working intensively over the past years in the fields of energy efficiency and renewable energy with the intention to implement a series of measures in order to keep their cities clean and sustainable. The TA programmes aimed to launch i) building retrofit projects through energy performance contracts (EPC); ii) upgrades of street lighting systems; iii) public vehicle replace-ment schemes and iv) small-scale renewable energy including photo voltaic (PV) installations. In total the three projects initiated the upgrade of around 100,500 lighting points to improved technologies such as LED. The Cities of Terrassa and Marbella as well as the Portuguese public authority Alentejo Central created together an investment volume of EUR 46.3m by receiving initial support (TA funds) from the European Commission Technical Assistance managed by European Energy Efficiency Fund (eeef), leading potentially to 40-60% of savings between the different technologies of the projects.

The public authorities have recognised energy efficiency as an important tool to reduce operational costs, and at the same time to contribute positively to their economy and environment by creating new jobs.

André Espenica, First Secretary of CIMAC (Intermunicipal Community of Central Alentejo), sees a great opportunity for the municipalities in implementing energy efficiency measures under the umbrella of the European Commission Technical Assistance support scheme - the key enabler to overcome project difficulties. “The special feature of this initiative was to pool smaller projects in a bigger scheme, thereby representing 14 municipalities which received TA funds.  The TA support was also pivotal to keep all Mayors and municipal technicians involved in the development of the project and achieve the main goals – to upgrade public lighting and improving energy efficiency in public buildings. In addition the project contributed to the preparation of renewable energy production infrastructure to be developed in our municipalities, to reduce environmental pollution in our territories.”

The European Energy Efficiency Fund (eeef) S.A., SICAV-SIF is a “société d’investissement à capital variable” governed by Luxembourg law and initiated by the European Commission in cooperation with the European Investment Bank. eeef increased the initial capitalisation provided by the European Commission with contributions from the sponsors European Investment Bank, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti as well as the investment manager Deutsche Bank. eeef is an innovative public-private partnership dedicated to mitigate climate change through energy efficiency measures and the use of renewable energy in the member states of the European Union.

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Advancing Sustainable Energy for Europe

The European Energy Efficiency Fund (eeef) is an innovative public-private partnership dedicated to mitigating climate change through energy efficiency measures and the use of renewable energy in the member states of the European Union.

It focuses on financing energy efficiency, small-scale renewable energy, and clean urban transport projects (at market rates) targeting municipal, local and regional authorities and public and private entities acting on behalf of those authorities.

Investments