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Towards the sun and the wind

What is being done in the Far East for the development of renewable energy

The complex logistics of fuel supplies for a number of territories in the Far East generates an extremely high cost of electricity production. One solution to this problem is the wider introduction of generation based on renewable energy sources (RES), primarily the sun and wind.

Towards the sun and the wind
Photo: RusHydro
In the Yakutsk village of Tiksi, one of the largest projects in the field of renewable energy is entering the active phase. It provides for the construction of a wind farm with a total capacity of 0,9 MW. In its creation participate "RusHydro", the Japanese organization NEDO and the manufacturer of the Komaihaltec Inc. technology. The future complex will consist of three wind power plants (VEU) with installed capacity of 300 kW each, three diesel generators for 1 MW, energy storage systems and other auxiliary equipment.

At present, the construction of the foundations for wind turbines is being completed. At the end of May, a vessel with three wind power plants arrived from Japan to the Vladivostok Commercial Sea Port. Now in Vladivostok are all the components for the construction of a wind farm: sections of towers, gondolas, blades, electrical equipment. Further equipment with a total weight of more than 200 t will be delivered by road and river transport to the Yakutian Arctic village of Tiksi.

"Wind turbines should be put into operation before the end of 2018, the construction of the facility as a whole, including the installation of diesel generators, distribution and accumulation of electricity, is planned to be completed by the end of 2019," the press service of RusHydro reported.

As specified in the company, the equipment is made in the Arctic version, it uses technologies whose efficiency and reliability was proved by the operation of the wind power complex in the village of Ust-Kamchatsk, which has been operating since the autumn of 2015.

It is worth saying that Yakutia is one of the most advanced Far Eastern regions in the area of ​​renewable energy. As explained by the First Deputy Minister of Housing and Energy of the Republic of Sakha Nikolai Duraev, the regional program for the development of local energy provides for the replacement of aging generation facilities with cost-effective modern facilities, including the increase in the share of cheaper energy resources, such as renewable energy sources.
In particular, the structure of JSC "Sakhaenergo" today includes 18 solar power plants that are designed taking into account the climatic features of the republic (since the most productive period of operation of such power plants is March-September, to obtain more sunlight in winter their panels have a mechanism for correcting the angle of inclination) .

The construction of such facilities is especially important for the Arctic zone, where there are many remote hard-to-reach consumers of electricity and heat with a complex multi-stage fuel delivery scheme: in some regions of Yakutia diesel fuel is imported for 1,5-2 years with depot storage at intermediate points.

The problem is also characteristic for other territories in the east of the country, located in decentralized energy supply systems. "RusHydro is considering the possibility of participating in solar and wind generation projects primarily in the Far East. At present, the company has analyzed the feasibility of implementing several dozen renewable energy projects with a total capacity of not more than 10-15 MW in isolated areas, "RusHydro said.

In this direction, the business and group of companies "Hevel" is developing. Last year, together with Rosseti, it introduced an autonomous hybrid power plant in the village of Menza in the Trans-Baikal Region (it consists of solar modules with a total power of 120 kW, two diesel generators of 200 kW each, and an 300 kWh accumulator), which also led to a decrease in consumption imported fuel. "This year we plan to start construction of a similar solar-diesel power plant in Tyva, and next year to implement several more projects in the Far East within the framework of existing agreements with the regions," says Anton Usachev, deputy general director of the Hevel Group of companies.

At the same time, RES solutions can be applied not only to populated areas, but also to many hard-to-reach deposits, where solar energy can be of great benefit to the mining industry. In April 2018, "Hevel" and "Polymetal" signed an agreement providing for the construction of a solar power plant at the Svetloe field in the Okhotsk district of the Khabarovsk Territory. The object of solar generation with the capacity of 1 MW will generate 1,2 GWh per year, thereby partially replacing the generation of electricity from diesel generators. Given the complexity of the northern delivery of fuel, this will significantly improve the economy of the power supply of the facility. "The light is located in hard-to-reach terrain, therefore, the reduction in fuel supplies for the power supply of the shift camp and infrastructure is of great importance," says Viktor Oskolov, chief engineer of Svetloye LLC. "We expect that after putting the plant into operation, the savings will amount to 250 t of diesel fuel annually."

At the same time, the mechanism for the return of financial investments is important for the development of RES in the regions. As explained in RusHydro, the volume of investment in each specific case is calculated separately based on the specifics of local conditions, primarily transport accessibility. "A key condition for the implementation of renewable energy projects in the Far East is to guarantee the preservation of the tariff level for the period of investment return, which is possible within the framework of long-term tariff regulation. The company is working with federal executive bodies to introduce such regulation in isolated energy areas of the Far Eastern Federal District, "the energy holding informed.

In turn, "Hevel" noted that the current legislation today allows investors to participate in the modernization of inefficient generation facilities in hard-to-reach and isolated areas of the unified energy network through the mechanism of an energy service contract that can be concluded within the framework of concession agreements with the region. "But at the same time, we already faced this in the implementation of pilot projects, there is a very high risk that the operator or the concessionaire will not be able to protect the tariff when regulating. For example, regulators can exclude fuel economy savings from the tariff for a new regulatory period before the end of the payback period, "says Anton Usachev. "Therefore, we propose to legislatively fix long-term tariffs for an investor that provides modernization of an inefficient energy sector, for the entire payback period - from 8 to 12 years, depending on the facility, laying the minimum yield at 12% in the tariff, similar to RAB tariffs. This is also due to the peculiarities of regulation - today, documents are being submitted to the regulatory body for the protection of tariffs, confirming the costs of implementing projects in which profitability is not provided. "

For those objects, whose modernization pays off longer than 12 years, the company proposes to provide additional benefits for the investor - for example, exemption from payment of property taxes. In addition, in connection with the peculiarities of generation in isolated areas where up to 90% of the cost of generating energy is formed due to the high price of fuel, it is advisable to fix quotas for the use of renewable energy sources in the modernization of power facilities. In particular, solar-diesel installation together with batteries allows to save up to 50% of diesel annually, specifies Anton Usachev.
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