By Eurasia Network – October 29, 2020

The Rostov oblast is among the Russian regions where the wind power industry is developing fast.

A wind power station – June 2018 – Photo credit Swann B.

Wind energy continues growing in Russia. A network of 8 wind power plants totalling 700 MW of capacity would be built in the Rostov oblast by 2023, reported several local sources, citing Igor Sorokin, the Regional Minister of Industry and Energy. The volume of investments would be more than 60 billion rubles (around 648 million euros).

Large wind farm projects have already been implemented in this region of Southern Russia. Indeed, three wind farms with a total capacity of 300 MW have been commissioned in 2020 by the company Vetroenergetika (managing the Wind Energy Development Fund established by Fortum and Rusnano in 2017).

Construction works of the Cossack wind farm (Казачья ВЭС) are underway. This new plant with an installed capacity of 100 MW is expected to begin supplying electricity and capacity to the wholesale market in 2021. Commissioning of the first stage of the station is planned in Q4 2020. The completion of the second phase is scheduled for 2021.

Last June, the Gukovskaya wind farm (Гуковская ВЭС) with an installed capacity of 100 MW was put into commercial operation. This is the third wind farm built by the Wind Energy Development Fund, controlled by the Finish Fortum and the Russian corporation Rusnano.

The authorities of the Rostov oblast also signed in February 2018 with Enel Russia an agreement regarding the construction of a 90 MW wind farm. The initial developer of this wind power project was the German holding SOWITEC. 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 first set of steel towers and hubs needed to install the wind turbines was delivered in May 2020. The wind farm is expected to be achieved by the end of 2020, in spite of the coronavirus outbreak. Siemens Gamesa and Siemens Gas Turbine Technologies LLC (STGT, a joint venture between Siemens and Power Machines) have shipped last month the entire contracted volume – 26 wind turbines for the Azov wind farm, reported Interfax.

On August 24, during a working meeting with the Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Governor of the Rostov oblast said that wind power is a new brand for the region. The first deliveries from the new wind turbines to the wholesale electricity and capacity market began in March 2020 and make the Rostov oblast a new cluster for wind energy in Russia, after the Ulyanovsk oblast where the first large Russian wind farm opened in January 2018.

Russia has a great potential in wind power capacities. The country has large available lands, regions with good wind exposure, a developed power network, strong industrial assets, a skilled workforce and high energy needs. Several thousands of people already work in the Russian wind power industry.

The current Russia’s renewable energy support program, covering the period 2014-2024, includes 232 projects with a capacity of 5.4 GW.

A new competitive tender under the new support regime is scheduled at the beginning of 2021. Throughout 2020, the Russian government and business players have been working on the main parameters of the new state program for the 2025-2035 period, approved in autumn 2019. The scheme would be more market-driven than the current one.

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