Favieli Stelian, Managing Partner of Nofar Energy: Renewables Without Limits. Everywhere. Everyway

Favieli Stelian, Managing Partner of Nofar Energy, elaborates on company’s activity in Romania and its plans for the years ahead.

Nofar is a world-leading company in renewable energy investments. The company is listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and is active in developing, operating, and storing energy produced from PV power plants and wind parks. Nofar operates in Spain, Italy, Israel, Poland, Romania, Germany, Greece, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

In Romania, Nofar is an essential player in transforming the energy market into sustainable green energy. The company is engaged in the construction and development of the largest renewable energy projects in Romania, among them a 255 MW solar project. Expected to become operational in 2025, this will be Romania’s largest solar PV park. Additionally, Nofar has already under operation the largest PV park from SE Europe, Ratesti project, 155 MW.

Favieli Stelian has over 25 years of international experience in real estate, renewable energy, business, finance, and accounting. Over the past 18 years, living in Romania, he is the Managing Partner of Nofar Energy.

From 2010 until the end of 2021, he has been the CEO of Shikun & Binui Romania (listed on the stock exchange in Israel). Prior to that, Mr Stelian was a director or manager of several Israeli companies both in Israel and Romania. Mr Stelian has a Master’s degree in Law from Bar-Ilan University, specialising in capital funds, intellectual property, international commerce. He also has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and is a certified public accountant.

Dear Mr Stelian, how do you find the growth of renewable energy investments in Romania and how will Nofar Energy take advantage of this?

Favieli Stelian: The surge in renewable energy investments in Romania is particularly noteworthy, underscoring the nation’s steadfast commitment to transitioning towards sustainable and eco-friendly energy sources. As renewable energy developers, we recognize this upward trend as an auspicious opportunity that aligns with Romania’s dedication to diversifying its energy mix and curbing carbon emissions, in harmony with the global movement towards cleaner energy solutions.

The potential for renewable energy development in Romania is not only substantial but also pivotal in addressing the country’s ambitious goals. Romania’s abundant renewable resources, encompassing wind and solar energy, lay a robust foundation for the expansion of clean energy projects. The allure of the market is further amplified by Romania’s stable regulatory framework and government support, enhancing its appeal for renewable energy developers.

We firmly believe that Romania’s renewable energy sector holds unlimited potential for growth. The supportive policy environment, coupled with a rising awareness of the environmental benefits of renewable energy, positions Romania as an attractive and dynamic market for sustained investment. At Nofar Energy group level, we are wholeheartedly committed to contributing to this growth by identifying and capitalizing on opportunities to develop sustainable projects that align seamlessly with Romania’s energy transition goals.

Navigating this evolving landscape presents challenges, particularly in addressing the imminent increase in energy consumption. Romania’s commitment extends beyond mere substitution of energy from fossil fuels to renewables; it also involves meeting a substantial surge in energy demand in the coming years. Managing this growth trajectory entails overcoming two major challenges – the lack of a robust energy grid and bureaucratic hurdles.

However, Romania’s involvement in European initiatives, particularly in cross-border energy projects like the Green Deal, stands as a strategic advantage. Being part of these projects facilitates collaboration on a broader scale, unlocking access to diverse resources, funding opportunities, and expertise. This collaborative approach not only accelerates the development and implementation of renewable energy initiatives but also contributes to the overall resilience and sustainability of the energy infrastructure.

In our view, Romania emerges as a highly attractive market for renewable energy development, bolstered by its stable investment framework and commitment to tackling the challenges of energy transition. As renewable energy developers, we are optimistic about the country’s potential for continued growth and remain dedicated to contributing significantly to Romania’s sustainable energy landscape, navigating challenges, and fostering a cleaner and greener future.


What were the factors that influenced your choice to start working in Romania, namely in the renewable energy sector?

Favieli Stelian: Our decision to venture into projects in Romania, particularly within the renewable energy sector, was influenced by a combination of strategic factors. Notably, due to our partnership in Romania commenced with the significant Ratesti project—a substantial 155 MW solar park, the largest in Southeastern Europe. Since that pivotal moment, our entry into the Romanian market has been marked by the active development of a diverse portfolio with other noteworthy projects.

Several key elements guided our group’s decision to invest in Romania. Firstly, the large size of the country, immediately presented opportunities for large-scale renewable energy initiatives. Romania’s landscape aligned seamlessly with our ambition to make a substantial impact through sizable projects.

Additionally, the attitude towards green energy transition in Romania played a crucial role in our decision-making. The country’s commitment to diversifying its energy mix and fostering a sustainable future resonates with our dedication to environmental consciousness. This shared vision not only forms the basis for collaboration but also fuels our enthusiasm to contribute meaningfully to Romania’s journey towards cleaner energy solutions.

The favourable investment climate in Romania emerged as another key consideration. The stability of the regulatory framework and the government’s support for renewable energy initiatives create an environment conducive to successful project execution. Romania’s openness to foreign investments, coupled with a supportive investment climate, instils confidence in the feasibility and success of our initiatives. Recognizing Romania’s slight advance in the share of renewable energy compared to the European Union average, we noticed the imperative need for accelerating the transition to renewable energy. Despite this positive momentum, Romania stands at the top of EU countries in terms of dependence on coal for electricity generation, incurring costs approximately 50% above the average price in the energy market in 2020. Recognizing the economic imperative, we are committed to driving the transition to renewable energy, leveraging factors such as current CO2 prices, renewable technology prices, European funds, and a sustainable energy mix.

We firmly believe that Romania, with its considerable size, commitment to green energy transition, and favourable investment climate, has immense potential for growth in the renewable energy sector. As we continue to contribute to Romania’s sustainable energy goals, we are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead and are confident in the country’s capacity to emerge as a powerhouse in the renewable energy landscape.

© Photo: Justin Iancu/Energy Industry Review

Nofar Energy is involved in developing, operating, and storing energy produced from PV power plants. Could you please elaborate on this?

Favieli Stelian: Nofar Energy stands at the forefront of the renewable energy sector, specializing in the development, operation, and storage of energy produced from photovoltaic (PV) power plants. Our journey in the renewable energy landscape began over 14 years ago, with a modest start in Israel, initially focusing on rooftop projects. Over the years, our commitment to sustainable energy solutions and our dedication to innovation have propelled us to expand our activities worldwide.

At the group level, our collective experience spans more than a decade, with a particular emphasis on solar PV and storage. The journey began in Israel, where we initiated projects on rooftops, gradually evolving to extend our reach globally. The last 14 years have witnessed Nofar Energy’s rapid and consistent growth, marked by an extensive portfolio of projects and subsidiaries spanning nine territories.

Presently, Nofar Energy boasts a global workforce of 200 employees, each contributing to the success of major renewable energy and energy storage projects.

To name just a few of our achievements, Nofar is a global leader in the C&I solar market, with over 1,500 projects across Italy, Israel, and the USA, that generate 350 MW of renewable energy. In the United Kingdom, we play a pivotal role in the development and operation of the country’s largest energy storage project 698 MWh, showcasing our unwavering commitment to pioneering solutions for a sustainable energy future. In Romania, our operational success is marked by the largest connected PV park in Southeast Europe, Ratesti project.

Moreover, in Israel, we serve as a comprehensive Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) entity and manage Operations and Maintenance (O&M) for a diverse array of projects. Our global portfolio of renewable assets spans across Europe, UK, USA & the Middle East.

This rich tapestry of achievements underscores Nofar Energy’s commitment to not only pioneering innovative solutions but also making a significant impact on the global renewable energy landscape. With a diverse portfolio and a footprint in key territories, we continue to drive progress towards a more sustainable and resilient energy future for communities worldwide.


Nofar Energy’s renewable energy portfolio in Romania reaches almost 1 GW total capacity, including operational solar PV projects, as well projects under construction and pre-construction. What are some leading projects you’ve worked on lately?

Favieli Stelian: Nofar Energy has set a target and declared at the end of 2021 that it will make significant strides in expanding its renewable energy portfolio in Romania. In just 2 years, this comprehensive portfolio encompasses operational solar PV projects, those under construction, and those in pre-construction phases.

Among our recent endeavours, we are actively focused on the construction of four major projects. The firsts are Iepuresti project (169 MW) and Ghimpati project (146 MW), showcasing our commitment to large-scale renewable energy initiatives. Notably, both projects are currently in the process of securing financial approval with European Bank for Reconstruction and Development marking a significant step towards their realization. Additionally, the Corbii Mari project, with a substantial capacity of 256 MW, further contribute to our growing footprint in Romania’s renewable energy sector. The Slobozia project, with a capacity of 74 MW, also plays a crucial role in our ongoing initiatives.

Our strategic approach goes beyond mere energy generation. We are concurrently in the development phase of storage capabilities for all these projects. This aligns with our commitment to harnessing advanced technologies to enhance the efficiency and reliability of our renewable energy projects.

Looking forward, Nofar Energy has set ambitious goals. We aim to pass a total capacity of 1 GW of solar PV in Romania by 2025. Concurrently, we are diversifying our portfolio by incorporating wind capacities, reflecting our commitment to creating a hybrid portfolio that harnesses the strengths of both solar and wind energy.

These initiatives underscore our dedication to shaping a sustainable energy future for Romania. Nofar Energy continues to lead the way in renewable energy development, not only in terms of capacity but also in adopting innovative technologies that contribute to the resilience and sustainability of the energy sector.


At the end of October 2023, Nofar Energy inaugurated the largest photovoltaic park in Romania and South-East Europe – Ratesti solar project. What was the most challenging part of this project?

Favieli Stelian: While the inauguration of the Ratesti solar project stands as a remarkable achievement, its journey was not without formidable challenges. The most demanding aspect of this endeavour can be attributed to its distinctive position as the inaugural large photovoltaic project connected from the new generation of renewable projects.

The intricacy of the project emanated from its pioneering nature, positioning the Ratesti solar project as a trailblazer in embracing cutting-edge technologies and practices. This pioneering status posed a significant challenge for the involved authorities, as they grappled with navigating uncharted territory encompassing regulations, technical specifications, and seamless integration into the existing energy infrastructure. The complexity of this novel approach necessitated a heightened level of coordination and collaboration among diverse stakeholders.

This collaborative effort transcended various phases of the project, extending from the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) stage to robust partnerships with local authorities, engagement with suppliers, and the unwavering dedication of internal employees. The collective endeavour showcased an exceptional level of cooperation and synergy among different entities, all united in their commitment to ensuring the triumph of the Ratesti solar project.

Beyond the pioneering aspects, additional challenges included the search for a qualified EPC partner and skilled technical personnel. The project also faced hurdles in ensuring the timely delivery of essential equipment, the project timetable faced postponement due to the unforeseen Ukraine war, causing disruption in the supply chain and shortage of raw materials. Overcoming these challenges required a strategic and collaborative approach, emphasizing the resilience and adaptability of the collaborative ecosystem involved in bringing the Ratesti solar project to completion.

© Photo: Justin Iancu/Energy Industry Review

Technological advancements can have a significant impact on the renewable energy development and not only. What kind of advanced technologies or innovative business models is your company using?

Favieli Stelian: At Nofar Energy, we recognize the transformative influence of technological advancements on renewable energy development and the broader energy landscape. Our commitment to staying at the forefront of innovation is reflected in the incorporation of advanced technologies and the adoption of innovative business models within our operations.

An essential aspect of our operations centres around the incorporation of state-of-the-art technologies in our photovoltaic (PV) projects. This strategic emphasis includes collaborating with leading suppliers, and as of the end of December 2023, we solidified a significant supply agreement with Longi.

In our commitment to cutting-edge technologies, we have expanded our collaboration with Tesla since 2021, focusing on acquiring power storage systems. In the domain of energy storage, we harness advanced battery technologies to elevate the overall stability and reliability of our projects. Energy storage plays a pivotal role in managing intermittency, ensuring a consistent and reliable power supply. By embracing the latest advancements in battery technology, we aim to not only enhance the flexibility and responsiveness of our renewable energy assets but also to contribute to a more sustainable and resilient energy landscape.

These partnerships ensure access to cutting-edge solar panels and energy storage solutions, elevating the efficiency and reliability of our solar energy systems. These technological advancements play a crucial role in maximizing energy capture, optimizing overall performance, and establishing a more sustainable and resilient energy output.

On the business model front, we explore innovative financing and project delivery approaches. This includes engaging in partnerships and collaborations to leverage shared expertise and resources. Additionally, we actively explore and implement innovative financial models, such as power purchase agreements (PPAs) and community-based initiatives, to enhance project viability and promote sustainable energy development.

In summary, Nofar Energy is dedicated to harnessing the power of technological advancements and innovative business models to drive forward the renewable energy sector. Through the integration of advanced PV technologies, energy storage solutions, smart grid implementations, and strategic business models, we aim to contribute to a more sustainable, efficient, and resilient energy future.


We know success on major projects depends on teamwork, collaboration, and reliable partnerships. What are the most important partners for Nofar?

Favieli Stelian: At Nofar Energy, we recognize that the success of our major projects is intricately tied to the principles of teamwork, collaboration, and the establishment of reliable partnerships. We operate under the steadfast belief that the individuals involved, both within our organization and among our partners, are the linchpin to actualizing our objectives.

Within our expansive network of collaborators, we prioritize key partnerships that are instrumental to our success:

  1. Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) Partners: Our collaborations with high reputable international EPCs partners form the bedrock of successful project execution. These partners bring expertise in designing, procuring materials, and constructing renewable energy facilities.
  2. Local Authorities and Regulatory Bodies: Strong relationships with local authorities and regulatory bodies are pivotal in navigating complex regulations and permits. Our partnerships in this realm contribute to smooth regulatory compliance, an essential aspect of our initiatives.
  3. Suppliers and Technology Providers: The efficiency of our renewable energy projects is directly linked to the quality of materials and technologies. Collaborating with reputable suppliers and technology providers ensures access to cutting-edge innovations, high-performance equipment, and sustainable solutions.
  4. Financial Institutions and Investors: Securing financial support and investment is integral to project realization. Our collaborations with financial institutions and investors who share our vision facilitate the funding necessary for the development, construction, and operation of our facilities.
  5. Local Communities: We consider local communities as essential partners, recognizing that their support is vital for the success and sustainability of our projects. Our engagement strategies prioritize open communication, community involvement, and the establishment of mutually beneficial relationships.
  6. Internal Employees: The dedicated individuals within our organization are crucial partners. Their skills, expertise, and commitment are instrumental in overcoming challenges and driving our projects to fruition.

In essence, our success is a result of collaborative efforts with a diverse range of partners, each contributing unique strengths to our projects. Whether through technical expertise, regulatory support, financial backing, community engagement, or the dedication of our internal team, these partnerships align with our belief that people are the driving force behind making impactful and sustainable energy projects a reality.


How will Nofar Romania team generate future projects to bring the energy storage revolutions to Romania?

Favieli Stelian: The Nofar Romania team is committed to spearheading the energy storage revolution in the country through a multifaceted approach aimed at generating future projects. Our strategic initiatives encompass innovative methodologies, collaborations, and a forward-thinking mindset to usher in a new era of energy storage in Romania.

  1. Market Research and Analysis: Our team conducts thorough market research and analysis to identify emerging trends, assess the evolving energy landscape, and pinpoint opportunities within the energy storage sector. By staying abreast of technological advancements and market dynamics, we position ourselves to capitalize on the most promising prospects.
  2. Collaboration with Technology Partners: Building strategic partnerships with technology providers and industry leaders in energy storage is pivotal. Collaborating with organizations at the forefront of technological innovation ensures access to cutting-edge solutions and enables us to integrate the latest storage technologies into our projects.
  3. Educational Initiatives: The Nofar Romania team believes in the power of education and awareness. We initiate educational programs and awareness campaigns to inform the public, businesses, and policymakers about the benefits and potential of energy storage. By fostering a better understanding, we aim to garner support and enthusiasm for the energy storage revolution.
  4. Continuous Adaptation and Learning: The energy sector is dynamic, and our team embraces a culture of continuous learning and adaptation. Staying agile allows us to swiftly respond to industry changes, technological breakthroughs, and market shifts, positioning us as innovators in the energy storage domain.

In essence, the Nofar Romania team is dedicated to leveraging a comprehensive and forward-looking strategy to drive the energy storage revolution in the country. Through proactive market analysis, strategic collaborations, regulatory advocacy, community engagement, innovative financing, and ongoing education, we aim to pave the way for transformative energy storage projects that contribute to a sustainable and resilient energy future in Romania.


As it is stated on the company’s website, one of the main Nofar’s goals is to help the world reach zero emissions by 2050, replacing old, expensive, and polluting energies. How do you intend to make it possible?

Favieli Stelian: Our primary focus involves expanding renewable energy capacity through the development of large-scale solar and wind projects. By harnessing the power of nature, we actively replace old and polluting energy sources with clean alternatives, significantly reducing carbon emissions.

Investment in advanced energy storage solutions, such as cutting-edge battery technologies, is integral to our strategy. This addresses the intermittency challenges of renewable sources, ensuring a stable and reliable power supply.

We prioritize the advancement of smart grid technologies to optimize energy distribution and reduce losses. This investment enhances the efficiency of our energy transmission, creating a more dynamic and responsive energy infrastructure.

Nofar actively embraces innovation in energy efficiency, adopting advanced technologies, practices, and systems to optimize energy use across our projects and operations.

Our commitment extends to advocating for sustainable energy policies. We collaborate with regulatory bodies, governments, and industry stakeholders to shape policies that incentivize the transition to zero-emission energy solutions.

Recognizing the importance of community involvement, we initiate educational programs and outreach efforts. By fostering understanding and garnering support, we aim to engage communities in the transition to cleaner energy sources.

In summary, Nofar’s concrete and proactive approach involves expanding renewable energy capacity, investing in energy storage and smart grid technologies, transitioning from fossil fuels to renewables, innovating in energy efficiency, advocating for sustainable policies, and engaging communities. These efforts collectively contribute to our goal of achieving zero emissions by 2050, driving a sustainable and emissions-free future.


Moving forward, what are Nofar’s plans for the years ahead in Romania and abroad?

Favieli Stelian: Looking ahead, Nofar is poised for significant expansion both in Romania and on the international market, with a comprehensive strategy that encompasses portfolio growth, operational excellence, and strategic financial decision-making.

Our primary objective is to extend our portfolio within the Romanian market. We aim to pass our substantial milestone of 1 GW in solar capacity, coupled with a targeted storage capacity 200 MW to enhance the efficiency and reliability of our projects. The focus will not only be on project development but also on operating our existing and upcoming projects to their fullest potential.

Specifically, our strategy involves concentrating efforts on the development and operation of 1 GW solar projects in Romania, emphasizing the integration of storage capabilities across all these projects. This approach aligns with our commitment to advancing sustainable and resilient energy solutions within the Romanian energy landscape.

To propel these projects forward, we are actively exploring and taking strategic financial investment decisions. This entails securing the necessary funding and resources to ensure the successful development, construction, and operation of our ambitious solar and storage projects.

As part of our diversified approach, attention will also be directed towards energy trading. This involves exploring opportunities through Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) or Contract for Difference (CFD) mechanisms. By actively participating in the energy trading market, we aim to optimize the economic viability of our projects while contributing to the broader goals of the energy transition.

Simultaneously, our international expansion strategy is ambitious, with plans to enter 2-3 new markets each year. This dual approach involves not only developing a new portfolio of projects in these markets but also ensuring operational excellence to maximize the impact of our presence.

Nofar’s forward-looking strategy involves substantial growth in both Romania and international markets. Through the development and operation of 1 GW solar projects in Romania till the end of 2026, integration of storage capabilities, strategic financial decision-making, and active participation in energy trading, we are positioning ourselves as a key player in advancing sustainable energy solutions. This comprehensive approach underscores our commitment to driving the transition towards a cleaner and more resilient energy future.

Back to top button