JSC Rosseti and Hevel (a joint venture of GC Renova and JSC RUSNANO), in the framework of the International RuGrids-Electro Electric Power Forum, signed a cooperation agreement for the implementation of autonomous hybrid electrical installations (AHEI) based on solar power to supply remote (unable to tie into the national grid) areas in Rosseti's zone of responsibility.
The document signed by First Deputy General Director for Technical Policy of JSC Rosseti, Roman Berdnikov, and the Director General of LLC Hevel, Igor Akhmerov, was a logical continuation of the companies' joint plans to organize reliable power supply to remote areas without the need to build expensive electric grid infrastructure, where it is economically impractical due to the considerable remoteness of electric power consumers from centralized grids.
The agreement suggests exploring opportunities for joint projects to utilize energy-saving technologies to provide power supply to remote areas. In particular, we are talking about the design, construction and maintenance of hybrid solar-diesel power plants.
Autonomous Hybrid Electrical Installations (AHEIs) are solar power stations combined with diesel generators and electric power storage systems. During the daytime, the PV modules convert solar energy into electricity, which is supplied to consumers, and the surplus is stored in battery units.
The generator is activated during peak energy consumption, usually in the morning and evening hours, as well as to charge the accumulator battery on cloudy days. After hours, consumers use the energy stored in the batteries.
One of the first projects that is “in the works” at the moment is the construction of solar-diesel power plants in a number of remote communities of the Trans-Baikal Territory, which at the moment only has diesel generation.
At this stage, the first areas for installation have been identified – their distance from centralized grids may be as great as 85 to 160 km. Considering the average cost of a ton of diesel fuel in the region, their significant remoteness from any infrastructure, and the high degree of wear of the existing equipment, the cost of 1 kWh of electricity generated by diesel power plants in these areas runs up to 70 roubles. The project is economically feasible in areas where the cost of 1 kWh is more than 25 roubles.
Construction of solar-diesel power plants will allow up to a 40 percent reduction in the cost of electricity and reduce the costs of the regional budget to subsidize electricity rates for residents of these villages.
At the moment, technical solutions for the first projects have already been developed and economic models indicate that the payback period does not exceed 5 years. It has been proposed to implement the project by means of energy service contracts.
According to the Director-General of Hevel, Igor Akhmerov, the decision to develop the stand-alone hybrid systems segment is part of a long-term strategy, which involves the diversification of business due to the fast payback of unsubsidized projects.
"Construction of AHEIs in areas with a high proportion of expensive diesel generation does not require state support measures, but rather allows significant savings in regional budgets, which makes the project attractive to the customer and the developer," said Igor Akhmerov.