The Russian Federation has the largest wind potential in the world. According to experts, it is estimated at 16,500 TWh per year. For comparison, this type of alternative energy development in Germany is actively developing a potential of 2800 TWh per year. If we talk about the practical implementation of the prospects available in this sphere, Russia is at the beginning of a long road. But some things from the list of what has already been done in our country is really impressive.
In mid-May, the International Investment Forum Wind Energy 2018 was held in Ulyanovsk. It gathered about two hundred specialists of the industry – employees of energy companies, wind farms, scientific and research organizations, as well as representatives of various levels of government: from local to federal. As expected, this event demonstrated a spectrum of activities in the field of wind energy, in one form or another being implemented today in Russia – and also indicated the near and medium-term prospects for the development of this industry in the country.
Ulyanovsk was chosen as the venue for the forum not by an accident. It is here that for the past four years the construction of wind farms has been under way. The first one to be built has already been put into operation and currently gives 35 megawatts of energy to the regional energy network – we will discuss it in more detail below. Construction of the second wind farm will begin this summer: it will be more powerful than its predecessor – its capacity will be 50 MW.
In addition, important steps are being taken in Ulyanovsk to localize the production of equipment and components for the industry – the Vestas company is creating an enterprise for manufacturing blades for wind turbines.
At the Ulyanovsk Technical University there is a department of wind power engineering, actively leading the training of specialists for this field. As the governor of the Ulyanovsk region Sergey Morozov noted in his speech at the forum, in the next couple of years, wind power plants with a total capacity of 250 megawatts will be built in the region – and in the next five to six years there is a plan to increase the amount of energy thus generated to 600 MW. This is an ambitious plan, but considering the federal program for supporting the wind industry that is operating in Russia, it may be feasible. Alarmingly, this program is valid only until 2024, and the situation with the support of wind power after this time is unclear. Many experts are sure that the program needs to be prolonged, and extended to enterprises engaged in the production of components for wind turbines.
“Projects for the construction of wind farms for a number of objective reasons started later than planned, while Ulyanovsk is here first, we need further support at least until 2030. The total capacity can be 5-6 GW, at the first stage it will be about 3.5 MW. We will also increase the level of localization of components for wind energy, now it is 65% by the regulatory basis. We worked through this issue with Vestas and other market players and found out that it could be an order of magnitude higher, “Oleg Tokarev, deputy director of the machine-building and investment engineering department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, said during the forum.
Renewing the federal support program until 2030 will create additional capacity, attract new investors and deploy the release of the necessary components in the country.
“Companies need market guarantees that wind energy will develop further. After “Vestas” manufacturers of smaller components will be tightened, the degree of localization in Russia will go deeper. We can offer them unique conditions both in the special economic zone and in the city of Dimitrovgrad, where there are sites for such companies, “says Sergei Vasin, general director of the Ulyanovsk Region Development Corporation.
The mentioned Development Corporation together with the Danish Vestas Wind Systems A / S are constructing in Ulyanovsk with the support of RUSNANO a plant for the production of one of the main components of wind turbines – blades. “The project to localize the production of wind power plants by Vestas Rus in the Russian Federation is, without exaggeration, a breakthrough in the industry. We plan to place in Russia the production of blades for wind power plants, the production of gondolas and towers for wind turbines. In Ulyanovsk there will be a unique production of blades, and it will be the first in Russia, “said Kimal Yusupov, head of Vestas Rus and Vestas Manufacturing Rus, one of the key participants in the forum. To insure that what was said from the rostrum of the International Investment Forum “Wind Energy 2018” had some weight, on the second day, its participants were offered tours to Fortum’s wind farm with a capacity of 35 MW, to the machine tool plant of the Japanese-German concern DMG MORI with objects of small wind and solar energy, and in the Ulyanovsk nanotechnology center. We will tell more about the first of these objects.
The Fortum wind farm is located in the Cherdaklinsky district.
The commissioning of an alternative energy facility was started at the very beginning of this year. This is the first industrial wind farm in Russia, included in the capacity register. The facility has fourteen wind turbine units with a capacity of 2.5 megawatts each. The project is being implemented by Fortum Energy, a subsidiary of the Finnish Fortum, which has already invested five billion rubles in the business. For the local economy this investments guarantee annual tax transfers to the budget in the amount of more than one hundred million rubles. The first wind park in the region will be followed by new ones – as already mentioned, a second facility of this kind will be built in the Ulyanovsk region this summer. The choice of sites for the construction of wind farms is based on the results of monitoring and analysis of the received reports on the «wind rose» in three districts of the region. The Ulyanovsk region is the first but not the only region of Russia where there is an active interest in wind energy. Some progress in this sphere is demonstrated in the Don region, including in the direction of localization of the production of components for wind turbines. The Agency for Investment Development of the Rostov Region offered the Chinese company Dongfang Electric to localize in the region the production of components for wind power plants. In addition to the blades, the list of components, which can be produced on the Don, also includes towers, turbines and a number of elements of the casings of wind turbine gondolas.
The Chinese company, Dongfang Electric, with its annual revenues of seven billion dollars is known to everyone who is somehow aware of the problems of modern wind power. This is one of the world’s largest players in the industry: more than 8,500 wind turbines have already come down from the production floor of the enterprise. By the way, the turbines installed in the Ulyanovsk wind farm Fortum were also manufactured by Dongfang Electric.
Now the first Dongfang Electric plant can appear in Russia in the near future. Representatives of the Chinese company have already visited a number of sites, one of which could accommodate such a plant, and are currently analyzing the results of what they saw.
The Administration of the Rostov region has already concluded agreements on the construction of two wind parks on the river Don. The construction of one of them will be invested by Enel Russia. It will be built on the site of the Azov-City gaming zone and is expected to be put into operation in 2020.
The second entity of the same kind will be implemented by Rosatom’s subsidiary: NovaVind. By the way, this enterprise also has plans to localize the production of equipment components for wind energy. The whole process of the company’s management plans to deploy on the basis of the Atomenergomash plant in Volgodonsk next year. “We have several plans for the Volgodonsk area. We are considering the option of locating the production of a tower there, organizing assembly production and a plant for assembly production of generators, as one of the key nodes of critical technologies that must be mastered and localized, “says Alexander Korchagin, the general director of NovaVind.
The wind park, which the company will build, will also be located in the east of the Rostov region. The total amount of investment in both areas of work is estimated at 15 billion rubles.
Serious plans in the field of wind power are available also at the neighboring Krasnodar Territory. In the Temryuk district (where the Crimean bridge starts), they plan to build a 90 MW wind farm. The cost of this project is estimated at eight billion rubles – it is already included in the program for the development of the electric power industry in the region for 2018-2022. The project is to be implemented by 2019 together with Gestamp Eolica and ZAO “Vetrogeneriruyuschaya Kompaniya”.
“Investment projects in the field of alternative energy are among our priorities. In our region there are all conditions for their implementation – not only from the point of view of business development, but also geographical location. The Krasnodar Territory has every chance to become the leader of the wind generation of Russia “, – the vice-governor of Kuban region, Vasily Shvets, is convinced. Other regions also strive to not be excluded from the trend: Stavropol and the Republic of Adygea also have intentions to build their own wind farms.
If Ulyanovsk over the past several years has become a kind of center of Russian wind power, and the southern regions of the country are competing for the leadership in this field in terms of capacity of future wind farms, for the colder north and east of Russia the availability of additional sources of energy is often without exaggeration a vital issue.
This is the case, for example, in the Murmansk region, where a large-scale project for a powerful 201 MW wind power park is currently being implemented along the Murmansk-Tumany-Teriberka road, which is planned to be commissioned in 2021. Energy supply to remote regions of the region is now often sought through the construction of boiler houses that work on local fuels – primarily peat; The construction of an industrial wind power plant near Murmansk can solve the existing problem drastically.
In the village of Tiksi in Yakutia, where the climatic conditions are even more extreme, a hybrid wind turbine complex will be built according to the original Japanese technology.
While not very powerful, only 3.9 megawatts, but after its commissioning the consumption of diesel fuel in the Bulunsky region of the republic will be reduced by 16% – this was done by the Japanese partners of the project from the Organization for the Development of Energy and Industrial Technologies, which will provide most of it equipment. Logistic as well as construction works will be carried out by the domestic company RusHydro: to install three wind generators with a total capacity of 900 kW and power lines are planned by the end of this year, and during the next – to install diesel generators, distribution and accumulation systems electricity.
Taking into account severe weather conditions of Yakutia, all components of wind generators were tested inside special cameras. The executive director of the Japanese company Takaoka Toko, Fukuo Aoyagi, explained such a necessity by the fact that the wind farm complex is, “in fact, a microenergy system for the polar regions, which will work stably and profitably.”
To sum up, the today of wind power in Russia is one wind farm of industrial capacity and grandiose plans for the future. Let’s stress: for the foreseeable future. In addition, the development of this branch of alternative energy can give a powerful impetus to innovative production directions in the country – such, for example, that are required for the implementation of complex vacuum infusion technologies for the manufacture of huge sixty-meter fiberglass wind blades, strength elements and carbon fiber reinforced spar, and for the construction of towers height of 96 meters from a thick-walled steel sheet with extremely rigid requirements to power connections. In addition to factories for the manufacture of parts of wind turbines, Russia will also build 7-8 large-scale production facilities for the production of components and technical equipment-and, according to Anatoly Chubais, head of RUSNANO, at least twenty thousand new jobs. In addition, the development of innovative production and energy sectors will require support from applied science, which in time will lead to the creation of a powerful research and production cluster in Russia. Needless to say, the task on the agenda for Russia to join the list of leading economic and energy powers without it is simply impossible!