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Caught the wind

New windmills built in Kamchatka

Caught the wind

Almost simultaneously - in August and September - new French wind turbines were turned on in Ust-Kamchatsk and in the village of. Nikolskoe. Their work helps local power engineers to save expensive diesel.

New wind turbines in Kamchatka were supplied by the Mobile Energy Company. In August, a wind-diesel complex was put into operation on the Commander Islands, and in September - a wind power plant in Ust-Kamchatsk.

The Kamchatka region was not chosen by chance: the average annual wind speed on the coast exceeds 7–8 m / s, and on the Commander Islands - 10 m / s. This is twice as high as on the continental sites of Germany and Denmark, which are among the leaders in wind energy. Thanks to this potential, power engineers rely on a high utilization rate of the installed capacity of wind turbines.

Strangely enough, the main reason for installing wind turbines in isolated villages of Kamchatka is not to give innovation and not a scientific experiment, but purely economic benefits. Here works such mathematics: in those towns that are provided with electricity from diesel power stations, the cost of a kilowatt is almost sky-high - the cost of imported diesel fuel is the fault. By replacing the diesel station (read, saving fuel), it is possible not only to recoup wind power station, but also to create conditions for tariff reduction.

In particular, the wind farm on the Commander Islands will replace up to 50% of the average annual output of local diesel capacity, which will save 350 tons of fuel, or 12,5 million rubles. Per year in 2013 prices. The project will pay for itself in 10 years.

However, in order to make it work, we had to try a lot. Power engineers had to very carefully select the equipment in order, firstly, to be able to deliver it, and secondly, to mount it properly. Due to the lack of proper construction infrastructure for the project on the Commander Islands, for example, not a single windmill was suitable. There is no heavy construction equipment on the islands, and a tower windmill needs a heavy crane for construction and maintenance. The world experience came to the rescue - the French have the unique technology for such conditions - Vergnet just assembles easily transportable and assembled self-elevating windmills, intended just for installation on sparsely populated islands. The wind turbine is fully assembled on the ground, after which it is brought to a vertical position with a winch. Two such wind turbines with a capacity of 275 kW were mounted on Bering Island, one - in the village. Ust-Kamchatsk.

Separate engineering solutions were required for proper interfacing of wind generators and diesel stations in the village. Nikolsky. In 1997, two Micon windmills were presented on the same Commander Islands, donated to the island by Denmark (this generosity is due to the fact that it is here that the great geographical explorer and native of the Danish kingdom Vitus Bering is buried). These wind power plants did not reach their designed capacity due to the fact that connection was not properly provided and their work destabilized the local power system. But now the distribution of the load between the wind farm and the DPP is engaged in automation (ACS of the VDK), and the ballast load, smoothing the fluctuations in the network, gives an electric boiler connected to the central heating system of the village. So excess wind energy is converted into heat, and the power industry receives the maximum use of wind potential.

By the way, the economic efficiency of replacing diesel generation with energy from renewable sources is not only in Kamchatka. The cost of the purchase and delivery of diesel fuel throughout the DFO is about 9 billion rubles per year, and this figure is constantly growing. This is an astronomical sum, considering that it is about a little more than 500 DES with a total installed capacity of about 670 MW. And according to the forecast of the Ministry of Economic Development, in ten years diesel fuel will be two and a half times more expensive than now. 

The wind, in addition to Kamchatka, is also promising in isolated settlements in the north of Yakutia, on Sakhalin, in the Khabarovsk Territory and Primorye. In addition to wind power, solar generation projects are also being developed. Already today in Yakutia there are 4 solar stations, a unique solar station 4 MW is being built in the polar Batagay.

Today, the power industry already has a transparent economic model for the return of investments in similar renewable energy projects. For the development of generation on the basis of renewable energy sources, it is sufficient that an agreement is fixed at the regional level to preserve the fuel component in the diesel power plant tariff for the project payback period. Such an approach makes projects interesting for financial organizations (since the return on investment mechanism is very transparent) and for regional authorities (since we are ready to reduce tariffs after the project is completed). OJSC RAO Energy Systems of the East is completing the formation of a program for the development of renewable energy sources. 

The goal is to achieve the introduction of 60 MW of renewable energy generation up to 2016 year, and double this figure to 2020 year.

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