Russia’s biggest-ever auction for renewable energy launched

Russia’s Administrator of the Trading System has launched an auction to select large-scale renewable energy projects.
Published: Wed 31 May 2017

Russia’s latest renewable energy tender is open to solar, wind and hydropower projects and is expected to award contracts for projects with a combined capacity of 1.9GW.

Authorities say that they are tendering for projects to cover a five-year period from 2018 to 2022. The auction will run from 29 May today until 9 June in two stages, with the results expected to be announced before 30 June.

Stages of the auction

According to the Russian Association of Wind Power Industry (RAWI), the 1,900MW of applications can be submitted for the tender this year. Of this capacity, 250MW will be commissioned in 2018 and a further 300MW will come online in 2019. In 2020, approximately 350MW of project will have to be connected to the grid, while in the following two years another 500MW per year will become operational.

According to RAWI, the first day of applications submission saw wind project proposals totalling 450MW.  The association said that domestic content requirement included in the auction will be increased from 40% currently to 65%, starting 2019.

Fortum Oyj, Finland’s largest energy company, has already registered to deliver up to 1.4GW of capacity into the Russian market. The Espoo-based utility will provide up to $268m (15bn rubles) in equity to the joint venture, in which both partners will hold equal stakes. Enel SpA of Italy may also participate in the auction.

Russia’s clean energy plans

Russia aims to install a solar capacity of 1.52 GW in its wholesale market by 2024. A further 1.18 GW is planned to be installed in the period 2024-2030. Four rounds of auctions have been held between 2013 and 2016 thus far and these have awarded a total of 2.06 GW of renewable energy capacity.

By the end of 2016, Russia reached 540 MW of installed PV capacity. Of this, 60 MW was installed in 2015, while another 70 MW was connected to the grid in 2016. Several PV plants located in Crimea are responsible for the remaining 400 MW. The plants were seized by local authorities after the region was annexed to Russia in 2014.

According to a report released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) last week, Russia has the potential to double its 2030 solar target to 5 GW. The report states that stand-alone PV in particular has strong potential in the country’s isolated regions.

The Russian government is also currently looking into the introduction of a net metering scheme to support residential and commercial PV.