Commissioning of solar power plants in Chukotka | Polarjournal
The Kanchalan solar plant was built within a year and has now gone into operation. (Photo: Hevel)

The Russian company Hevel Energo Servis, which is responsible for the energy services business of the Hevel Group, has completed the construction of an off-grid solar-plus-diesel project in the Snezhnoye and Kanchalan settlements of the Anadyr region of the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug. These are the first projects of their kind in the Arctic zone of Russia.

The total output of the two plants is 2,600 kW, including the solar output of 550 kW, as well as the output of the lithium-ion battery of 470 kWh. In addition, the project created the necessary grid infrastructure and modernised the existing diesel power plants.

Infrastructure in the settlement of Kanchalan, northwest of the main town of Anadyr, is prone to disruption. The renewal of the power supply is intended to provide the 700 inhabitants with a more stable supply of energy. (Image: Heiner Kubny)

The control is automatic and provides the optimum operating mode and fuel consumption. The implementation of the project will provide two remote settlements in the region, home to about 700 people, with a reliable, stable and uninterrupted supply of electricity.

The use of solar generation and storage systems reduces fuel consumption by up to 30% and extends the life of diesel generators. The diesel fuel savings are expected to be 2,310 tons over the life of the Energy Services Agreement.

In August 2020, the construction of new solar plants began, and exactly one year later, the first kilowatts went into the energy grid of the settlements. The stations will be operated in trial mode for two months.

Cheerful meeting with electrical engineers in Kanchalan during filming of the movie “Top-Shot” of the Swiss Television. From left to right: Sarah Leuthold SRF, first electrical engineer, Werner Breiter, Rosamaria Kubny, second electrical engineer, Nikolay Ettyne, our local guide. (Image: Heiner Kubny)

Investments in the construction of the plant in the village of Kanchalan amounted to 109.3 million rubles (USD 1.5 million) and in the village of Snezhnoe – 95.5 million rubles (USD 1.3 million). The power generators were built under an energy service contract with the region at the expense of the Hevel group of companies. This financing model has made it possible to avoid a tariff increase for electricity end consumers and will provide relief for the regional budget in the future. The reduction in budgetary expenditure will come from a reduction in the cost of purchasing diesel fuel.

The contract for the construction of the solar plant was signed with the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug Government on May 24, 2018.

Currently, the company Hevel Energo Servis operates 40 solar plants in rural areas of Siberia and the Far East with a total capacity of 83.3 MW, including 13.5 MW of solar power.

Heiner Kubny, PolarJournal

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