100 MW Saran solar park commissioned in Kazakhstan

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The government of Kazakhstan’s northern region of Karaganda has announced completion of the 164-hectare, 100 MW SES Saran solar project, near the city of Saran.

The commissioning ceremony for the project was attended by Kazakh energy minister Kanat Bozumbayev, who called for local authorities to develop wind power projects in the region.

The plant was built by Solarnet Investment GmbH, an affiliate of German developer Goldbeck Solar under the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)-GCF Kazakhstan Renewables Framework, with the former lending some $73.4 million to the project in November. The project cost, according to the EBRD, amounted to $103.5 million including construction of a dedicated substation near Saran.

According to information released by Goldbeck at a recent conference held in Berlin, Germany, in November, the plant was built Goldbeck Solar GmbH / Solarnet GmbH, with Enerparc providing engineering and support services. The facility is selling power to a government-run entity under a 15-year PPA at a price of 34.61 KZT ($0.091) per kWh indexed with inflation.

Bozumbayev said the solar park is among 60 renewable energy power plants, with a total capacity of 531 MW, that are online in the country.

There are several solar parks under development in Kazakhstan, including a 14 MW PV project planned by French company Urbasolar; the 50 MW Baikonur Solar park, which will be in the Kyzylorda region; two more 50 MW operational projects – Burnoye Solar-1 and 2 – in the southern region of Zhambyl; a 100 MW PV plant planned by local company KBEnterprises with the support of ABB near Kabanbay, in Tselinograd district; and a 28 MW plant under development by France’s Total Eren SA and UAE company Access Infra Central Asia Ltd.

There are also four solar projects totaling 170 MW of capacity that Kazakhstan electricity and power market operator JSC KOREM tendered in October. The auction was the first of a series of renewable energy tenders planned by the Kazakh government.

* the article was updated on Jan. 25, 07:26 to add additional information on the project provided by Goldbeck.