Russias solar industry is tentatively moving in the right direction, this week with the news that the conglomerate of Russian companies known as Solar Energy has been given the all clear to develop six new utility-scale solar power plants. The plants will all be located in Russias southern Astrakhan Region, and will help the country to achieve its goal of 1.5 GW of installed PV by 2020.
Solar Energy plans to invest 12 billion rubles (US$185 million) for the development of the six projects, which will each have a capacity of 15 MW. All of the projects are planned for completion in 2017.
Companies KompleksIndustriya and Energoholding, part of the Solar Energy group of companies, have received the rights for construction of six solar power stations with capacity of 15 MW each on the territory of Volodarsky, Privolzhsky, Yenotayevsky and Narimanovsky, the regional government announced. The investment projects exceed 12 billion rubles.
Solar Energy is a group of Russian companies, which have come together to develop utility-scale projects within the country. It claims to already have the right to develop 435 MW of solar projects within Russia.
However, there will be an air of skepticism around the projects until modules start being installed, as a number of proposed solar projects in Russia never came to fruition. To date, Russia only has 60 MW of solar PV installed throughout the country, however, it is expecting to see a total of 150 MW installed in 2016.
The country is aiming for at least 1.5 GW of installed PV by 2020, with reports from the Russian Energy Ministry that approximately 1,165 MW of PV projects have been tendered over the last three years. One Russian company that does appear to be moving forward with its plans for solar installations is Hevel LLC, which began construction on a 15 MW solar plant in the Saratov Region just last week.