Ukraine’s Naftogaz begins investing in solar power

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Ukrainian state-owned gas and oil provider Naftogaz is building small PV plants at the facilities of Ukrtransgaz, the operator of the Ukrainian gas transport system.

In a statement to pv magazine, the company said the plants are the first solar projects of a series it intends to develop over coming years under its corporate Affordable Energy for Ukraine strategy.

The company’s chairman announced in London last week that Naftogaz has developed a list of potential projects it is discussing with international investors.

“Naftogaz Group has a number of industrial sites and other facilities where renewable energy units can be installed,” a company spokesperson told pv magazine.

The pilot solar projects, consisting of 1,140 PVr panels generating almost 400,000 kWh of electricity per year, were launched last year, with several bigger projects under way, the company added.

Ukraine joins fossil fuel giants’ rush to PV

Naftogaz specified its investment in renewables – including geothermal energy from oil and gas wells – will intensify from 2020.

“The corporate objectives of [the] Naftogaz Group are to promote energy efficiency through the provision of modern energy services and the introduction of energy efficient technologies and processes,” the company said in its statement.

Naftogaz’s Affordable Energy for Ukraine strategy envisages, however, the company will remain a strong vertically integrated gas and oil producer after unbundling its gas transmission function.

Naftogaz is the latest of the global oil and gas companies announcing solar plans. Before it many others had made the move, including U.S.-based Vitol; Spain’s Repsol; Russia’s Lukoil; multinationals Shell, Total, Eni and BP – which re-entered the solar business in late 2017; Norway’s Statoil, now known as Equinor; Hungary’s Mol; Oman’s PDO; Brazil’s Petrobras; Argentina’s YPF; and Jamaica’s PJC.