By Swann Bigot, for Eurasia Network – January 4, 2019

solar panels - pixabay

Solar farm – Photo credit : Pixabay

The Belarusian construction company ZAO Belzarubezhstroy will build a 109 MW solar power plant in the Mogilev region. The construction agreement was signed on December 21 with the customer, the company “OOO Solar Land”, reported its director Nikita Mikhnevich to BelTA press agency.

Located near the village of Blizhnyaya Rechitsa, at 300 km east of Minsk, the solar farm must be completed by April/May 2019.

It will be the largest renewable energy facility in Belarus. The annual power generation will be 130 million kWh. The electricity will be purchased by the state-owned Belenergo to supply the national power grid.

A team of 120 workers and 30 construction machines started in October the preparatory works on 100 hectares, and more than 800 structures for photovoltaic modules had been installed at the end of December, revealed the Energy Facilities Construction Department of ZAO Belzarubezhstroy.

Read also : A 55 MW solar farm opened in Belarus

The solar power plant will be made of panels collecting energy from the sun. An area of 220 hectares has been allocated for the project. The collected energy will be sent to the power grid of Belarus. […] This solar power project is interesting for its stability and its opportunities” said Nikita Mikhnevich to journalists.

The total investment in the project will amount to $ 170 million, financed by credit resources and own funds of OOO Solar Land.

Registered in Cherikov in March 2015, OOO Solar Land is a Belarusian subsidiary of the Irish company Cameliaside Limited, which is part of the British United Green and Irish Altostrata. Both these companies invest in renewable energy projects around the world.

Read also : Belarus may deliver electric buses to Georgia

The necessary equipment to the solar farm will be supplied by the Chinese company PowerChina Guizhou Engineering Co., Ltd.

Ecap GmbH is the technical coordinator of the project and will deal with the maintenance of the solar power plant once construction completed. Founded in 2009, this German company has developed and built more than 600 MW of solar power in Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia.

ZAO Belzarubezhstroy will perform general construction and installation works. This engineering company is a leading Belarusian exporter of construction services to foreign countries and is experienced in design and construction of residential, administrative and industrial buildings and structures.

The Lithuanian company SNG Solar also takes part in the project.

8% of Belarus energy balance by 2030

Depending on imports for its main energy needs, Belarus wants to increase its renewable energy share. The country adopted its first legislation supporting the use of renewable energy in December 2010.

According to the Energy Security Strategy of Belarus adopted in December 2015, setting the official targets by 2030, the share of natural gas should be 52% in the national energy balance, nuclear energy should reach 12% and renewable energy should amount to 8%.

Moreover, the national state program “Energy Saving” plans the construction by 2020 of solar power stations with a total capacity of at least 250 MW.

The total capacity of renewable energy in Belarus must increase by 2020 to about 7% of the total installed capacity of the power system.

The construction of this 109 MW solar farm aims at implementing this national energy strategy by diversifying the sources of electricity as well as reducing operating and transportation costs due to power supplies to nearby communities. Lastly, this solar power project will contribute to save foreign currency resources that Belarus spend in oil and gas imports.

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© Copyright 2019 – Swann Bigot, lawyer and consultant in international affairs.

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