By Eurasia Network – August 2, 2021

Wind turbines in fields – August 2020. Photo credits : S.B., courtesy to Eurasia Network.

The Russian gas company NOVATEK may build a 190-200 MW wind power plant near the Yamal LNG plant in the port of Sabetta, reported several press sources. The wind farm should gradually replace the power generation by the local gas thermal power plant and reduce the carbon footprint of the Yamal LNG project. The use of this 200 MW wind farm for the production of green hydrogen in the future is also being considered. The cost of this wind power station, built under Arctic climate, might reach around 20 billion rubles (230 million EUR).

NOVATEK, the largest private gas company in Russia, aims at reducing CO2 emissions at its Yamal LNG Plant in the Arctic. Thus the corporation plans to build a 190-200 MW wind farm near the Yamal LNG plant in Sabetta, revealed several Russian press sources. It is now difficult to name the expected timing of the commissioning of the future wind power station. This new infrastructure would gradually replace the power generation of the existing thermal power plant that supplies electricity to the LNG plant, thereby reducing its carbon footprint.

The current thermal power plant has capacity of 376 MW and up to half of it is in reserve (an isolated power zone where the double reserve rule is in effect), the capacity of a pilot wind farm can be 190-200 MW.

The future wind farm may also be used to generate electricity needed in the production of green hydrogen, which is demanded by the European market. The process is called electrolysis, which is the use of electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.Now electrolysis is an expensive way.

A competition to select a technology partner for this 200 MW wind farm project may take place in late 2021 – early 2022, reported the journalists of the Russian daily Kommersant.

The cost of this wind power station, built under the Arctic climate, can be estimated at around 20 billion rubles (230 million EUR). Indeed, the construction of a 201 MW wind power station, in the Murmansk oblast by the energy company ENEL Russia, has cost an investment of around 23 billion rubles (265 million EUR). This 201 MW wind farm developed by ENEL Russia relies on 57 wind turbines and should be completed in 2022. The Murmansk oblast and the Yamal Peninsula have similar climatic conditions, with harsh freeze.

A potential supplier and technology partner is the global wind turbine manufacturer Vestas. But Siemens Gamesa could potentially enter the competition.

Read also : The Russian Wind Power Industry

The Yamal peninsula has a high wind potential. The wind speed there is about nine meters per second. However, wind turbines adapted to the Arctic climate should cost NOVATEK more than conventional ones. 

The development of renewable energy sources in Russia is stimulated by capacity supply agreements, which are contracts offering investors a guarantee of a basic annual return of 12%. Under the current state 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.

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