Russia Approves 365 Megawatts of Clean Energy Projects in Tender

Russia granted 365 megawatts in clean-energy projects for delivery from 2016 to 2019, the nation’s third tender for renewables after the state delayed auctions to adjust terms.

Russia approved solar projects from Solar Systems, Avelar Solar Technology and T Plus that will add 280 megawatts of capacity, according to the website of Russia’s power market trading system administrator, or ATS. Russia awarded one 35-megawatt wind plant and two hydroelectric dams totaling 49.8 megawatts.

“Without additional regulation this tender would not have succeeded,” Mikhail Molchanov, chief executive officer of Solar Systems, which is backed by Chinese investors, said by e-mail. “Two previous attempts failed. This is a very significant positive signal that government supports renewables even in this turbulent economic reality.”

Developers are benefiting from Russia’s new subsidy program to boost clean-energy generation, approved in May 2013. Russia delayed auctions from the summer to improve terms after the ruble slumped. The currency fell to more than 71 against the dollar from 32.6 in December 2013 raising the cost of imported equipment to the country’s fledgling industry.

Solar Systems took smaller volumes than competitors in this year’s auction to mitigate risks due to “enormous” ruble interest rates and the lack of project finance instruments, Molchanov said.

Russia awarded 557 megawatts in its previous capacity auction in 2014, also with solar power dominating.

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