Russian Far East sees 75 MW of large scale solar come online

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A consortium of Austrian investor company Core Value Capital, solar developer Green Source Consulting GmbH and Russian energy project business Vershina Development LLC has announced commissioning of five grid-connected PV power projects with a total generation capacity of 75 MW in Russia’s Far East.

The consortium also includes Austrian investment company Core Value Capital GmbH and construction firm compatriot Gildemeier LSG Beteiligungs GmbH.

One of the facilities built by the international consortium in Russia.

Image: Veshina Development

The group said the five plants – SPP Kabanskaya, SPP Tarbagatai, SPP BVS, SPP Balei and SPP Orlovskiy GOK – with the first three being in the districts of Kabansky, Tarbagataisky and Kyakhtinsky in the Republic of Buryatia and the other two in the Zabaikalsky Territory. The high-irradiation Far East of Russia has limited electricity transmission networks.

Construction was carried out by the Russian subsidiary of an engineering, procurement and construction services consortium formed by Germany’s Gildemeier Energy Solutions GmbH and Austrian company LSG Group.

New jobs

The solar facilities were built under Russia’s Capacity Supply Agreement (CSA) program, which enables power companies to sell generation capacity and electricity on the day-ahead Wholesale Electricity and Capacity Market.

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“The load on the network infrastructure will be reduced and the flow of electricity will be optimized,” said the consortium responsible for the projects. “But the main advantages for the region from the implementation of these projects are new jobs and fresh taxes.”

Pavel Shevchenko, CEO of Veshina Development, told pv magazine investors see a return on capital expenditure investment through payments for capacity delivery agreements. Operational expenditure is covered by payments for electricity sold on the day-ahead or balancing markets. “Capacity payments can guarantee investment return within 15 years, with a certain profitability,” said Shevchenko.

Capacity needed

The CSA program works particularly well in the “price zone” areas of Russia, where energy can be traded more efficiently. The Republic of Buryatia is such a zone and has a pressing need for more generation capacity.

The Far East Federal District is the largest and the least populated in Russia. The region has the poorest energy and transport infrastructure in the nation. To improve the situation, the Russian government is seeking Asia-Pacific-based investors.

In April, Russian module maker Hevel announced it will build a 1 MW solar plant for Russian metals miner Polymetal. The solar facility will supply power to the company’s site in the Khabarovsk region, in the Russian Far East, where Hevel is also deploying diesel-solar plants with a combined generation capacity of 40 MW.