According to Valery Korsakov, CEO of Sphinx-9, the project will be executed over two phases, worth 25 MW each. Construction is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of this year and should be completed at the end of 2013.
Korsakov added that an estimated 6.1 billion rubles (around US$190 million) will be invested in the project, part of which will be allocated from regional budget. A payback period of around seven years is expected, she said.
When complete, it is planned that the plant will supply electricity to the Kislovodsk region. Korsakov further added that the plants location will also house a research center, which will focus on the further development of solar energy technologies in Russia.
At present, the Russian photovoltaic industry is said to be steadily developing. According to Anton Usachev, director of the Russian Association of Solar Energy Enterprises, around 70 MW will be installed over the next two years, and by 2020, cumulative photovoltaic capacity could reach two gigawatts.
The majority of new solar power plants are expected to be installed in southern Russia, in particular Dagestan, Stavropol Territory, as well as in Siberia. "At present, the volumes of solar generation in Russia remains low, with the annually installed capacities no more than two MW. The majority of them accounts for private sector, and in particular those households, which do not have an access to the grid," commented Usachev.
The country’s largest thin film factory is also under development. The Hevel company, a joint venture between the Renova Group of Companies and Rusnano, and Oerlikon Solar, is currently working on the project in Novocheboksarsk (Chuvash Republic). It is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year, and will have an annual capacity of 130 MW, or over one million modules per year.
Under the current government decree, "On the main directions of state policy in the field of alternative energy", it is stipulated that the share of energy generated from renewable sources in Russia should amount to 2.5 percent by 2015 and 4.5 percent by 2020.
Edited by Becky Beetz.