Russian Grids JSC, the government of the Zabaykalsky territory and Hevel Solar are part of the taskforce currently beginning to develop a pilot project for “Supplying electricity to isolated regions in the Zabaykalsky territory using autonomous hybrid power plants (AHPP)”.
The project will build three diesel-solar power plants between 2014 and 2015 at a number of isolated settlements in the Zabaykalsky territory which currently only use diesel generators. It is not economically feasible to build power lines to these regions due to their remote location and distance from the centralised power grids.
The standard AHPP power plant project would convert solar energy into electricity during the day, which will then be supplied to the consumer while any excess would be stored in batteries. The generator turns on during peak times of energy consumption, usually in the morning and evening hours, as well as to charge the batteries on cloudy days. During the night, consumers use the electricity that has been stored in the batteries.
At the present stage of the project, engineers have determined the first areas where the power plants will be installed, one of which is the Menza Village in the Krasnochikoisky district. The local diesel power station can produce up to 200 kW while the area is over 160 km away from the central power lines. Other settlements include the Tungokochen and Kyker villages in the Tungokochen district with two 300 kW diesel power stations and at a distance of 121 km and 85km away from the centralised power grids, respectively.
Taking into account the average cost for a ton of diesel fuel in the region, the significant distance between the present settlements and large utilities, a high degree of wear and tear for any existing equipment and the kW/h cost of electricity, the construction of these diesel-solar power stations will decrease the cost of electricity and decrease the expenses borne by the regional budget to subsidise the cost of electricity for residents in these villages.
At the present time, engineering solutions and economic models have already been developed for the first projects, which will recoup all construction expenses within 5 years. The project is expected to be implemented akin to an energy service agreement.