Armenia sets up commission to support large-scale PV projects

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Armenia’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources announced that it has created an ad hoc committee to support the development of large-scale PV projects across the country.

The Ministry said that the commission will be formed by representatives from the Ministry of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economic Development and Investments, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the Central Bank and the State Services Regulatory Commission.

The government specified that the commission will be responsible for presenting project proposals for large-scale solar power plants. Overall, the government expects this initiative will lead to the construction of six solar facilities with a combined capacity of 110 MW. The first project is expected to have a capacity of 55 MW and to be built in Masrik, Gegharkunik province, in the eastern part of Armenia. The government, however, has not said how projects will be selected and if there will be any sort of incentive to support them.

The Armenian government is currently supporting PV projects up to 1 MW through a FIT scheme and residential and commercial solar up to 150 kW through net-metering.

In mid-April, the Ministry of Energy announced the start of construction on the country’s third 1 MW PV plant being developed under the special tariff regime introduced by the Armenian Public Services regulation commission (PSRC) in December 2016.

The tariff applies to PV projects ranging in size from 150 kW up to 1 MW. In December, Hayk Harutyunyan, Armenia’s Deputy Minister of Energy said that the tariff for these projects would be equal to those of wind energy, which is of AMD 42.645 ($0.09) per kWh without VAT.

Both schemes are part of $58 million program which began in 2015, aimed at boosting alternative energy sources in the country. The six-year program is directed by the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Foundation, a non-governmental organization whose mission is to facilitate investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy in Armenia. The scheme is supported by the Climate Investment Funds, the Armenian Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank.

Armenia intends to cover 30% of its electricity demand with renewable energy by 2025.