By Swann Bigot, legal expert and consultant in international affairs, for Eurasia Network –July 22, 2019

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Wind turbines, June 2018 – Photo credit : Swann Bigot

A 150 MW wind farm will be built by September 2019 in the Republic of Adygea, a subject of the Russian Federation in Western Caucasus.

The construction began in September 2018. The total investment amounts to RUB 12 billion (EUR 170 million), as announced in April 2017.

This infrastructure should reduce the local energy deficit by 20%, explained on February 14 Murat Kumpilov, the Head of the Republic, during a meeting with the General Director of the Moscow-based company AO NovaWind, Alexander Korchagin. Both men attended the Russian Investment Forum of Sochi, whose the main topic in 2019 was the implementation of national projects.

How much power generated ?

Based on the border of Giaginsky and Shovgenovsky districts, in the North of the capital city Maykop, the 150 MW wind farm will be made of 60 wind turbines with individual capacity of 2.5 MW.

The service life of the station is at least 20 years. The utilization rate of the wind farm is at least 27%. The infrastructure must generate electricity round-the-clock and sent it to the local power grid. Regarding the technological connection to external networks, the main equipment of the 220 kV substation is being installed and a 220 kV transmission line is under construction. The estimated output of the Adygea wind farm will be about 354 million kWh per year according to the local authorities.The power generation would start this summer.

The annual electricity consumption of the Republic of Adygea now amounts to 1,4 TW/h, while about 8-10% of this volume is covered by local power generation.

A delay due to heavy rainfall

The area of construction of this large wind farm was hit in October 2018 by a flood caused by heavy rainfall, which delayed the delivery of the installation from the second quarter of 2019 to September 2019.

 “After eliminating the aftermath of the flood, the construction returned to a normal pace, and we expect the wind farm to start generating power in August-September. Now, active work has begun on the final preparation of the first wind-electric installations” said Alexander Korchagin, the General Director of AO NovaWind, during the 11th annual international forum ATOMEXPO held in Sochi in May 2019.

Read also : Russia announced a tender to build 313 MW of renewable energy capacities

 “[…] more than 30 foundations for wind turbines have been laid […] the installation of towers will begin in May. Components are being delivered. The company has already received the blades for all the 60 wind turbines” added Mr. Korchagin.

Why Western Caucasus ?

During a working meeting in April 2017 with the regional Deputy Prime Minister Vyacheslav Sapiyev, Alexander Korchagin presented the results of wind measurements, which motivated the choice of Adygea to build this 150 MW wind farm :

Wind measurements conducted showed that the average wind speed in the Republic of Adygea is 6.2 m/s. […]. This is a good industrial wind capacity, from which it is possible to generate energy with a good power coefficient. This promises a remarkable prospect for the implementation of this pilot project […].

AO NovaWind received the full support of the Adygea’s authorities to carry out this amibitious project. According to Mr. Kumpilov, this large wind farm will create new jobs and will provide additional tax income to the regional finances. Mr. Kumpilov is confident that the largest wind farm of Russia will stimulate the regional development.

The Head of the Republic held a working meeting with Alexander Korchagin on May 20, 2019. The issues related to the final stage of the construction of the giant wind farm were discussed.

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 “This is one of the most serious projects. Thanks to joint efforts, today we can say that we are successfully approaching the final stage of its completion. Now it is important to synchronize the actions in order to solve all the necessary issues in time and to launch a wind power plant that will help to meet the growing needs of the Republic in electricity generation capacities. Among other positive aspects of the project stand the creation of new jobs and additional tax payments to the regional budget”, commented Mr. Kumpilov.

Complex installation operations

The management of AO NovaWind confirmed to journalists that the project is carried out according to the planned schedule. The first power generation is expected in September this year. The reconstruction of roads at the entrances to the wind farm will be completed by November.

 “All the foundations for the towers have been prepared. The installation of the first wind turbines started. Specialists with experience in the installation of similar structures take part in the operations. In addition, we use the most modern technology, in particular, a powerful high-altitude crane with a lifting capacity of 600 tons” explained Alexander Korchagin.

The installation of the first wind turbine has been completed in early June, reported the state corporation Rosatom. The height of the tower with a rotor whose diameter is 100 meters, reaches 149 meters.

A 100 meters tower is made of 8 modular sections. The installation of each tower involves 35 specialists, 4 cranes and auxiliary equipment. The most complex technological operations during the installation of a wind power installation are performed by a unique high-altitude crane with a large carrying capacity of up to 500 tons at an altitude of up to 120 meters. The crane is used to mount the nacelle, generator and hub with pre-mounted blades.

All the remaining 59 foundations of the 150 MW wind farm are ready for the installation of the other towers.

 “Considering that before this project […] the installation of our wind turbines were done at a small-scale, we managed to achieve high accuracy rates and good assembly rates already at the first wind installation. This became possible thanks to the competent management of the international supply chain, not only from the point of view of ensuring supplies, but also thanks to accurate monitoring of requirements mentioned in the design documentation […] all these processes are being implemented for the first time in a completely new industry for the country. The results of the first assembly allow us to predict a phased increase in installation rates at subsequent wind farms”commented Andrei Nesteruk, Deputy General Director for the life cycle of wind farms, in the press release of Rosatom.

This construction of this large wind farm in Western Caucasus will be used later in the development of the Russia’s wind power capacities. Other regions such as the Ulyanovsk oblast or the Rostov oblast have been chosen to host large wind farms jointly built by Russian and foreign companies.

The 150 MW wind farm project of Adygea also covers the launch of the manufacture capacity of wind power elements in a new factory located in the industrial city of Volgodonsk in the Rostov oblast.

AO NovaWind was registered in Moscow in September 2017 as a subsidiary of the state corporation Rosatom. Headed since then by Alexander Korchagin, who has been working since 2009 at senior managing positions in Rosatom, the company is mainly engaged in manufacture of engines and turbines, installation and repair of renewable power plants, generation and wholesale trade of electricity. It owns subsidiaries in Volgodonsk, Krasnodar, Stavropol and in Rostov-on-Don.

Read also : Siemens Gamesa to supply a Russian 90 MW wind farm

AO NovaWind now carries out projects to build wind power plants with a total capacity reaching 970 MW by 2022. The company also implements a large-scale program for localizing wind power equipment at the Atommash factory in the industrial city of Volgodonsk, in the Rostov oblast. Atommash is well-known in the Russian industry for its nuclear power engineering activities.

The state corporation Rosatom won in 2016 a tender for the construction of three wind farms in the Russian Federation with a total capacity of 610 MW. This covers 17% of the total wind power capacity planned for commissioning in the country until 2024.

The Republic of Adygea is a subject of the Russian Federation, located in Western Caucasus, on the left bank of the river Kuban. Its territory, rich in forest resources, is enclaved in the Krasnodar krai. The population of the Republic was estimated to be 451 500 in January 2016. The capital city is Maykop.

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

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