Russian solar firm Hevel Solar has inaugurated a 5MW pilot PV power plant in the Altai Republic, in southern Siberia.
The Kosh-Agach project is said to be Russia’s largest PV installation to date and the first source of locally generated power in the Altai region, which had previously relied on power generated in other parts of the country.
Andrei Tsygulev, deputy head of the Kosh-Agach District for construction and architecture, told local news agency ITAR-TASS, said: “The entire Kosh-Agach District consumes from 2.7 to 3.5MW of power, that is, the power station will generate almost twice as much power as our requirements are, and the surplus will be sold to other areas of the region.”
The plant cost RUB570 million (US$15.3 million) to build and is the first of five PV projects with a combined generation capacity of 45MW planned in Altai.
Attending the Kosh-Agach inauguration ceremony, Russian president Vladimir Putin said the other plants would be commissioned before 2019 at a cost of RUB5 billion (US$134.8 million).
He told ITAR-TASS, that construction of the plants would kick-start a local market in solar manufacturing.
“This means a large amount of work which will enable the production sector of the component to feel confident and get a market,” Putin said.
Moscow-based Hevel, a joint venture between conglomerate Renova and nanotechnology firm, Rusnano, recently opened a 130MW plant in Russia producing thin-film modules for a target 600MW of projects in the country. Estimates have put Russia's PV pipeline at 1.5GW.