By Rasana Gasimova
The constructions of two renewable power plants projects will allow Azerbaijan to save 300 million cubic meters of gas per year, which is 10 percent of the total amount of gas annually consumed by the country's population, Deputy Energy Minister Elnur Soltanov told local media on February 19.
“As a general rule, such projects about 1-2 years. We expect that the construction of two new renewable energy facilities in Azerbaijan with a total capacity of 440 MW will take about 2 years,” Soltanov said.
Soltanov noted that each of these stations will be integrated into the overall power system in stages. “The total investment in these projects is estimated at about $ 400 million,” he said.
He also informed that the specific weight of the installed capacity for electricity production from renewable energy in Azerbaijan is 17 percent (1,276 MW), whereas the total capacity of the Azerbaijani energy system is 7,144 megawatts.
“The share of renewable energy sources in the actual production of electricity in Azerbaijan is 8.2 percent, including the capacity of big hydroelectric power plants,” he added.
Soltanov noted that this year there is a rather high possibility for Azerbaijan to hold the auctions on the development of projects in the field of renewable energy sources as the country has great potential for the implementation of such projects.
“Our law in the field of renewable energy is already at the stage of revision. At the same time, the preparation is underway for an auction. The likelihood of implementing the projects in the field of renewable energy sources in five selected areas in Azerbaijan in 2020 is quite high,” he added.
Soltanov said that a total of eight promising areas for the development of renewable energy sources were selected. “The wind and solar power stations will be built at three of those promising areas by ACWA Power and Masdar companies. In other areas, an auction for the construction of new power plants may take place in 2020.”
He informed that Azerbaijan’s potential of generating capacity of renewable energy sources is estimated at 26,940 megawatts.
“The potential of wind power of that volume is estimated at 3,000 megawatts, solar power – 23,040 megawatts, bioenergy - 380 megawatts and mountain rivers - 520 megawatts,” Soltanov noted.
Note that the Ministry of Energy signed contracts with Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power and UAE’s Masdar on January 9, 2020.
Under the terms of the agreements, ACWA Power will build a 240 MW wind power plant, and Masdar 200 MW will build a solar power plant in Azerbaijan as part of the pilot project.
Annual electricity production at these stations is projected at 1.4 billion kWh. The volume of investments under these projects is expected to exceed $300 million. The entire amount of financing will be undertaken by the companies. Earlier, ACWA Power informed that investments in the construction of a wind farm will amount to $200 million.
Earlier, it was revealed that the UAE’s Masdar company will commission a 200 MW solar power plant in Azerbaijan in 2022.
According to estimates of the Energy Ministry, the potential of Azerbaijan’s renewable energy sources generating capacities is 26,000 MW. The Energy Ministry has set a task to increase the share of renewable energy sources in electricity production by 30 percent in 2030.
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