Russian solar module producer and project developer Hevel Solar, a joint venture between Russian industrial conglomerate Renova Group and nanotechnologies provider JSC Rusnano, announced it has broken ground on the 15 MW Niva solar project in in the Astrakhan region, south-western Russia. The company said it expects to achieve project completion by the end of the first quarter of 2018, without providing additional details about the project.
Hevel, however, said the plant is the first of a 165 MW PV project pipeline it has in Astrakhan. The company has also planned to build another 30 MW solar facility in the Limansky District in 2019, and two more 60 MW PV plants in the Privolzhsky and Akhtuba districts.
Overall, the aggregate investment for these four projects is expected to reach RUB 20 billion ($349.0 million), Hevel said.
Hevel has a solar project portfolio of over 300 MW in Russia. All of these projects, which will be developed under the country’s FIT scheme for solar and renewables, were awarded in the auctions held by the Russian government until 2016. Furthermore, Green Energy Rus, a unit of Russian industrial group Renova, which is also the parent company of Hevel, was able to win contracts for 16 large-scale solar projects with a combined capacity of 300 MW in the latest auction that was held in June. These projects will range in size from 15 MW to 25 MW and will be built across the whole Russian territory.
Russia’s Administrator of the Trading System has allocated approximately 520 MW of PV capacity in the auction. Through its renewable energy policy, the Russian government hopes to install at least 1.5 GW of PV capacity by 2020.