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Solar Power Plant Construction Begins in South Kazakhstan

Sunday 26 April 2015

ASTANA (The Astana Times) – German enterprise Promondis Kazakhstan recently began construction of the country’s largest solar power plant with a total capacity of 75 MW in South Kazakhstan, according to the regional hakimat (“government”).

The total volume of foreign investment in the implementation of the full project will be $250 mln. The first phase of construction of a solar power plant generating 35 MW has already started in the Otyrar district of Koksarai village. This specific plant expects to create 35 permanent jobs.

Deputy Akim (Governor) of the South Kazakhstan oblast Saparbek Tuyakbayev made a speech at the ceremony laying down the cornerstone at the site of the future solar power plant. He noted that the regional government provided direct support at all stages of the development of the integrated project in all aspects of organisational and administrative measures, particularly questions of obtaining land permits, agreeing on connection points, the project’s inclusion in the official list of renewable energy projects at the Kazakh Ministry of Energy and other issues.

“At least six renewable energy projects with a total capacity of 290 MW are planned to be realised in the South Kazakhstan region between 2015 and 2016. Consequently, the current deficit of the region’s electricity needs of 280 MW will be fully covered with the renewable energy sector by 2017”, said Tuyakbayev.

The Kazakh government is aiming to add 3,054 MW of new renewable energy capacity by 2020, according to a new federal plan unveiled by state-owned national atomic energy company Kazatomprom. According to the plan, 713.5 MW of the total capacity would come from 28 PV power plants.

It is estimated that the 3 GW of sustainable energy capacity would satisfy approximately 3 percent of Kazakhstan’s electricity demand in 2020.

Kazakhstan is ideally situated to adopt solar (PV or thermal) technology, receiving 2,200-3,000 hours of annual sunshine and an insolation (direct radiation from the sun) of 1,300-1,800 kWh/m²/yr. Because solar thermal plants do not require a source of water for cooling, they can be easily located in arid regions of Kazakhstan where solar incidence is high and population is low. More than half of Kazakhstan is desert or semi-desert, so there is an almost unlimited range of possible locations. Especially promising areas are found near the Caspian oil fields – an arid region with a low population but a highly developed transportation and power transmission infrastructure.

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