By Swann Bigot, legal expert and author, for Eurasia Network – April 26, 2020
Wind turbines in fields, June 2018 – Photo credit : S. B.
The Governor of the Ulyanovsk oblast announced on April 14 that a new 250 MW wind power plant would be built in the region, which started exports of wind turbines blades to Denmark.
Sergey Morozov revealed this project during the ceremony about the shipping of the first exported batch of wind turbines blades, manufactured at the factory built in Ulyanovsk by the Danish Vestas and the Russian state corporation Rusnano.
These 48 exported blades will be delivered to a customer in Denmark, to build a wind farm, reported the business daily Vedomosti.
The blades, each 62 meters long and weighing 12.5 tons, will be transported from Ulyanovsk by truck to the port of Tolyatti on the Volga river, from where they will be delivered to the customer in Denmark by two ships by mid-May 2020. The equipment is designed for Vestas V126 turbines with a unit capacity of 3.45 MW and will allow the customer to build a 55 MW wind power plant.
The Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov attended the ceremony and said:
“The uniqueness of this event is not only that no one manufactured such products in Russia before, it is an example of effective international industrial and technological cooperation, which took place despite the trends of separation in the era of sanctions […]”
The official stated that Russia is open for cooperation with foreign companies in technological development projects, including in renewable energy.
The Governor Morozov has also announced new wind power capacities in the oblast :
“We continue to actively prepare new sites for wind farms. Today we have a 85 megawatt wind farm. We are moving to build another 250 megawatt wind power plant.”
The head of the region also noted that the manufacture plant will be able in the coming years to produce larger wind turbine blades. The current blades are 60-meter large.
The Governor also revealed that the Ulyanovsk oblast is preparing tender documentation for the construction of solar power plants :
“By 2030, we committed to have at least a 30% renewable energy share in the energy balance of the Ulyanovsk oblast. There is no doubt that the coronavirus will not prevent us from reaching this goal, we will cope with this challenge.”
The company Vestas Manufacturing Rus LLC was registered in July 2017 and began operations in December 2018. The factory produces polymer composite wind turbine blades. The blades are designed for wind turbines with power ranging from 3.4 to 4.2 MW. The manufacture site is located on the territory of the aviation cluster in the industrial city of Ulyanovsk. The partners of this project are the Danish Vestas, the Russian state corporation Rusnano and the Consortium of Investors of the Ulyanovsk Oblast, which includes the Ulyanovsk Nanocenter ULNANOTECH and the company Akvilon LLC. Around 300 employees work at Vestas Manufacturing Rus LLC.
The blade factory was built to meet demand for the developing wind power sector in Russia in compliance with the 65% level of localization of manufacture required by the Russian regulation. Moreover, manufacturing blades in Russia and shipping them to foreign countries is cheaper than producing this equipment in Western Europe.
The company Vestas Manufacturing Rus LLC operates under a tripartite special investment contract with the Federal Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ulyanovsk oblast.
In addition, the Danish Vestas invested and opened manufactured capacities of other components for wind farms in the Nizhny Novgorod and Rostov oblast.
The shipping ceremony was also attended by the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Denmark to Russia Karsten Sendergord , the Chairman of the Management Board of RUSNANO Anatoly Chubais and the General Director of Vestas Manufacturing Rus LLC Kimal Yusupov .
Due to the coronavirus pandemics, the event took place through a video conference.
Russia has a great potential in wind energy, as explained Igor Bryzgunov, Chairman of the Management Board of Russian Association of Wind Power Industry (RAWI) during an interview in October 2019.
The development of renewable energy sources in Russia is now stimulated by the capacity supply agreements, which are contracts offering investors a guarantee of a basic annual return of 12%. Under the current support scheme, about 5.5 GW of renewable energy capacity should be built in Russia by 2024.
The Federal Government decided in September 2019 to extend the support scheme until 2035. The scheme would be more market-driven than the current one.
The Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov concluded saying:
“Given the importance of the development of renewable energy, as well as the need to strengthen industrial capacities and ensure the export of high-tech equipment and services in this industry in the future, the Government of the Russian Federation will continue to support this sector after 2024.”
Among the most promising Russian regions for wind energy generation are the Murmansk oblast, the Arkhangelsk oblast, the Rostov and Ulyanovsk oblast, the coastal zones of the Gulf of Finland, the Krasnodar and Stavropol Territories and the Western Caucasus.
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© Copyright 2019 – Swann Bigot, legal expert and consultant in international affairs.