Solar Kraft LLC, a unit of Vershina Group and a group of Austrian investors secured a voluntary power purchase agreement for a 600 kW PV installation intended for self-consumption from French gardening retailer Leroy Merlin.
“At present … self-consumption projects developed by third parties for commercial and industrial clients are not widely spread in Russia, due to a few reasons,” a company's spokesperson told pv magazine. “First, not many commercial and industrial clients pay high tariffs for electricity. Second, there is a regulatory risk in [the] case of a self-consumption project – if it is structured as a pure PPA – that even in [the] case the plant is on-site, the regulators will enforce to pay [an electricity] transportation charge and, in such case[s], a project becomes become economically not viable.”
The solar array will cover around 30% of the electricity needs of a Leroy Merlin hypermarket in Volzhsky, in Russia's Volgograd region. Leroy Merlin said it might build similar facilities in other cities in southern Russia.
At the end of April, three solar-linked bilateral deals had been sealed in Russia. These deals, however, differ substantially from the deal secured by Vershina, as they imply the use of the power network.
According to Anton Usachev, president of the Russian Solar Energy Association, the three bilateral agreements involved Anglo-Dutch multinational consumer goods company Unilever, Belgian brewing giant AB InBev, and Russian state-owned lender PJSC Sberbank. “Voluntary bilateral agreements follow the same mechanisms as green certificates and are similar to PPAs in their basic form,” Usachev said at the time. “They are concluded between an independent power producer and a buyer searching for consumption of electricity generated by renewables for its manufacturing facility.”
The group of Austrian companies includes Soge Solar Generation Holding GmbH, Terawatt Holding GmbH, Eco Energy Rus Holding GmbH, and Energoeffect Holding GmbH. The EPC contractor for the project is Vershina Engineering LLC.
*The article was amended on December 3 to reflect that the deal secured by Vershina differ substantially from the bilateral deals awarded by Unilever, AB InBev, and PJSC Sberbank.
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