Russia’s Rushydro expands use of solar in remote areas of its service territory


Russian power utility Sakhaenergo OAO, a unit of Russia-based hydroelectric power producer Rushydro, announced it will install more off-grid medium-sized PV plants across remote areas of Yacutia, a region in Russia’s Far Eastern Federal District.

Rushydro said the new installations will reduce “expensive” diesel consumption in these areas. The first 50 kW plant will be installed in the rural locality of Orto-Balagan, while two more plants, with a capacity of 40 KW and 50 KW, respectively, will be located in the municipality of Kystatyam. Construction on all these facilities is expected to begin in July, with completion scheduled for the fourth quarter of this year.

The company has installed approximately 1.47 MW consisting of 16 off-grid solar power generators in these areas to date. The largest plant is a 1 MW facility built by Helios Strategia OOO, which won a tender issued in 2014. The project, which is planned to be expanded to 4 MW, was built at a cost of RUB 156.7 million ($2.6 million).

In September 2016, Rushydro signed a memorandum of understanding with Japanese trading company Mitsui & Co. to conduct feasibility studies for solar and wind power projects.

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Currently, PJSC RAO ES East, a subsidiary of RusHydro which operates in isolated areas of the Far East of Russia, is targeting the installation of 146 MW of renewable energy generation capacity.

According to Rushydro, Mitsui and the Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC) are seeking to acquire 4.88% treasury shareholding in RusHydro, as well as plans to implement joint projects.

In early June, Russian solar module producer and project developer Hevel Solar also announced it intended to build off-grid solar plants in the Russian Far East, the country’s easternmost region with limited access to electricity and transmission networks. The company is planning to build hybrid solar-diesel power stations with a combined capacity of 40 MW in the region.

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