Hevel starts building 100 MW in Kazakhstan, expands pipeline to 178 MW

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A unit of Hevel has signed a number of agreements to buy stakes in several companies in Kazakhstan, expanding the Russian PV group’s pipeline in the country to 178 MW. The subsidiary finalized the deals just as the Moscow-based group started installing 100 MW of solar in the country.

Upon completion in 2020, the 100 MW project will be one of the biggest solar installations in the Commonwealth of Independent States, the group said in an online statement. Hevel is financing the construction of the array with its own funds, in addition to debt financing it has secured from the Eurasian Development Bank.

For its pipeline in Kazakhstan, Hevel will use its own heterojunction 375 W bifacial solar modules, Hevel CEO Igor Shakhray said, adding that the group plans to further expand its portfolio in the country. Later this year, it aims to start building 50 MW and 20 MW solar projects in the southern part of the country. It won the rights to build those projects in a bidding round last year.

Back in April, Hevel Solar and Astra Solar, a Kyrgyzstan-based monocrystalline ingot and wafer producer, signed an agreement to jointly explore the possibility of setting up an industrial cluster for solar module manufacturing, as well as industrial and financial cooperation within the Eurasian Economic Union. The deal followed Hevel Solar’s expansion of its heterojunction PV panel factory in Novocheboksarsk, Russia, to 250 MW.

Kazakhstan’s PV market has exploded over the past two years. The world’s largest landlocked country offers significant potential for solar deployment, with its total installed PV capacity jumping from just 59 MW at the end of 2017 to about 210 MW at the end of last year, according to statistics from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).