Kness Group commissions module factory in Ukraine

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Ukrainian renewable energy company Kness Group has announced its PV module factory in Vinnytsia, west-central Ukraine, has started manufacturing activity.

Kness said the €5 million facility was constructed in 12 months, and its production lines were installed by China’s National Institute, which claims to be one of the world’s leading renewable energy technology centers. The factory produces framed and frameless 60 and 72-cell PV modules of glass-glass type, with outputs ranging from 270-370 W.

The factory, which has an annual production capacity of 200 MW, is expected to reach 400 MW by the end of this year, the company said.

“The launch of the Kness PV plant is a significant event … because with the start of Ukrainian PV modules production, Ukraine will have 100% of its own PV power plant main components,” said Kness CEO Serhii Shakalov.

Construction of the factory was announced by Kness Group in August.

The ongoing conflict between Kiev and Moscow is a powerful incentive for the former to seek energy independence, given Ukraine relies on Russia for most of its oil and gas imports as well as nuclear power materials.

Panels produced in Vinnytsia will be used for the group’s PV project pipeline in Ukraine, which includes 97.6 MW of new capacity in the same region. Kness says it also plans to deploy 51.7 MW of solar in the Kherson region, with further projects in Kiev (6 MW) and the regions of Kirovograd (17 MW), Odessa (9.5 MW) and Dnipropetrovsk (1 MW).

Ukraine grants a 5% premium on FITs for PV projects built with with 30-49% domestically made equipment. Those with a domestic content of 50% or more receive a 10% bonus. To be eligible for domestic content rules, plants must be commissioned before 2025.