Activ Solar complete 69.7 MW Ukrainian project

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Development of Ukraine’s photovoltaic sector continues with Activ Solar completing its latest park in the country. The firm’s latest project is worth 69.7 MW and employs 290,000 crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules, over an area of 116 hectares. 52 inverters were employed in the installation.

Vienna based Activ Solar is one of the most active solar developers in Ukraine, having installed over 127 MW of capacity in Q1, 2013. The firm is reticent to speak of project pipelines, but this latest installation indicates that it is continuing to develop a strong project pipeline in the country, and in particular in the Crimean region.

Activ Solar is able to generate strong FIT returns from its installations in Ukraine, in part by satisfying the country’s domestic content requirements. It does so through its polysilicon fab in the country and by using local BOS components. As of July, local content provisions in Ukraine specify that photovoltaic power plants in the country must utilise 30% locally produced components. Activ Solar supplies its polysilicon to OEM module producers outside of the country.

COO Johann Harter told pv magazine, in an interview that will appear in the September edition of the global edition of pv magazine, that it is currently evaluating opportunities in terms of tooling upstream operations in the country. "Absolutely every company that is on a strong growth path, like Activ Solar, would be stupid not to look at these opportunities," said Harter. "We always evaluate opportunities, run the numbers through our models and sometimes we do due diligence."

Harter said that this evaluation includes assessing the viability of repurposing tools from insolvent upstream operations elsewhere in Europe.

While Activ Solar has strong ongoing operations in Ukraine, it is developing a project pipeline in the U.S. and is also looking to emerging markets, such as in the MENA region.

The recently completed Nikolayevka Solar Park created over 350 local construction jobs during installation, and 10 full-time operational jobs on an ongoing basis.