By Swann Bigot, legal expert and consultant, for Eurasia Network – May 17, 2020

Wind turbines - May 2017

Wind turbines, May 2017 – Photo credit : Swann Bigot

The first set of steel towers and hubs needed to install the wind turbines was delivered at the Azov wind power plant under construction near the city of Rostov-on-Don, reported the company Enel Russia on May 15. The wind farm is expected to be achieved by the end of 2020, in spite of the coronavirus outbreak.

Enel Russia was awarded this 90 MW wind power project as the result of the Russian federal tender held in June 2017 for the construction of 1.9 GW of wind power capacities. Total investment in this 90 MW wind farm will reach 132 million euros.

The wind farm is located on the coast of the Taganrog Bay of the Sea of ​​Azov — a site with great wind potential. The wind turbines will raise about 85 meters above the surroundings, and at the top of the blade, the height will be 149 meters.

According to Igor Burakov, General Director of the Rostov Region Investment Development Agency, the Azov wind farm will be the second most powerful of the three wind farms that Enel Russia is currently building in the Russian Federation and will be the company’s most powerful wind farm in Southern Russia.

The first set of steel towers is made of three assembly sections. The biggest section is 30 meters long and weighs 79 tons. The total weight of three sections is nearly 200 tons. It took approximately 12 hours to deliver it from the industrial port of Taganrog to the construction site. There will be 26 steel towers on which the nacelles and wind turbines will be installed.

Enel Russia reported that the cargo, weighing more than 720 tons (one nacelle weighs 68 tons and a hub – 35 tons), had a challenging journey from the manufacturer based in the Leningrad oblast to the place of construction of the wind farm in the Rostov oblast. The delivery took about a month. For ground transportation, a set of measures have been taken to prepare the route to ensure safe transportation with long-length vehicles. In addition, special access roads to the construction site with load-bearing capacity for the transportation of heavy cargo were built.

Furthermore, the first gondolas and a set of blades are expected to be delivered before June, each of which is 65.5 meters long and weighs 20 tons.

Enel Russia’s technological partner for this project is Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, which is the supplier of the wind turbines.

The Russian power operator Rosseti plans to complete the connection of the Azov wind farm to the Unified National Electric Network before January 2021, reported the business daily Kommersant last April.

As part of the first phase of the project, which began in the second quarter of 2019, a new 110 kV linear cell was built at the substation, equipped with Russian-made gas-insulated switching equipment and modern microprocessor relay protection devices. At the second stage, a second power autotransformer with a capacity of 63 MVA will be installed. At the next stage, new power equipment will be installed at the facility. The total investment of this connection work will be about 410 million RUB (5.15 million EUR).

Read also : Russia decided to inject EUR 5.65 billion in renewable energy

Commissioning of the Azov wind farm is scheduled by the end of 2020. The power plant will include 26 generating units covering the total area of 133 hectares, with a total capacity of more than 90 MW. The wind farm will be able to generate about 320 GWh annually avoiding the emission of approximately 250 000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Last March, the Wind Energy Development Fund, jointly owned by Fortum and Rusnano, launched the first wind farm in the Rostov oblast – the Sulinskaya 100 MW wind power plant, which started supplying electricity to the wholesale electricity and capacity market.

Read also : Renewable energy share in Rostov oblast to reach 20% by 2022

The Wind Energy Development Fund is also building two other wind farms in the region. Their total capacity should be 300 MW. The local government expect that by 2022 about 20% of all electricity consumed in the region will be generated by renewable sources.

Enel Russia, part of the Enel group, owns a significant share in the Russian renewable energy landscape.

The company carries out three wind power projects : the Azov Wind Farm (90 MW), the Kola Wind Farm (201 MW) and the Rodnikovskaya Wind Farm (71 MW). Enel Russia revealed that the total amount of investment in these three projects is around 495 million euros.

Read also : Italian Enel will start construction of a 201 MW wind farm in Arctic in September

In addition, the company’s generation assets in Russia cover three gas stations: Konakovskaya TPP, Nevinnomysskaya TPP and Sredneuralskaya TPP. The company also temporarily manages the Reftinskaya coal power plant with an installed capacity of 3800 MW during the transitional period necessary to complete the deal to sell the station to its new owner.

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.

Read also : A 150 MW wind farm by September 2019 in Western Caucasus

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.

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© Copyright 2020 – Swann Bigot, legal expert and consultant.

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