Martifer Solar builds 8 MW PV plant in Ukraine

Martifer Solar has completed an 8 MW PV plant in western Ukraine despite the recent political and economic turmoil in the country.

Martifer Solar, a subsidiary of Portuguese construction and renewable energy giant Martifer SGPS, built the new Shargorod plant in Ukraine’s Vinnytsia region.

Martifer stressed that the project represented "one of the most challenging projects to date that the company has successfully completed in the country."

Nevertheless, the group said it delivered the plant on time and within three months of construction time.

"This new 8 MW plant is a significant achievement for the team as it strongly displays our company’s ability to adapt and manage complex projects under extreme conditions," said Francisco Queirós, Martifer Solar’s country manager in Ukraine. "In addition, this PV project is one of the first of its magnitude to satisfy the current local-content requirements in place within the country."

Martifer again partnered with local company Rengy Development on the Shargorod plant, located less than 300 kilometers southwest of Kiev. The installation is the sixth project that Martifer has built in Ukraine for Rengy Development, bringing its installed capacity in the country to a total of 29 MW of utility-scale PV since 2012.

"As we maintain our investment and development of solar projects in Ukraine, we continue to rely on the strength and proven talent of Martifer Solar as a partner in the market," said Narek Harutyunyan, Rengy Development managing director. "We have shared several success stories in the Ukrainian market and this 8 MW plant surpassed our expectations given the current situation in the country."

Martifer Solar completed the 8 MW PV plant on an area of approximately 160,000 square meters, using 33,000 modules installed on fixed structures. The Shargorod plant is expected to produce an estimated 9.2 gigawatt hours a year – enough to power more than 11,000 inhabitants in the Vinnytsia region per year.

Filinto Martins, Martifer’s regional manager in Europe, added that in addition to its work in Ukraine, the company was executing a more comprehensive approach to further opportunities in the PV market across Eastern Europe, which it said would "generate future growth for both our company and solar development in the region."

The installation comes at a dire time for Ukraine as it battles a Russian-supported rebellion in the eastern part of the country. Last month Russia’s state-owned energy giant Gazprom shut off gas supplies to the country due to what it said was Ukraine’s failure to settle $1.95 billion of a $4.5 billion debt.

For the European solar industry, the Ukraine crisis has become a stark illustration for the need to rebalance its energy supply mix.

The European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) has said Europe needs to diversify energy supplies, adding that PV can play a vital role as an obvious and secure solution.