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Russian wind farm to test equipment in Arctic conditions

Wind farms could solve the problem of energy infrastructures in the North’s isolated energy districts

MOSCOW, February 27. /TASS/. Russia’s first wind farm, which will be built in Yakutia’s north, will test equipment in extreme frosts and stormy winds, Yakutia’s Minister of Housing and Energy Danil Savvinov told TASS on Wednesday. On Tuesday, Moscow hosted a ceremony of signing documents for construction of a wind-diesel complex, where Rushydro (hydroelectricity company), Yakutia and Japan’s NEDO (the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization) signed a memorandum on cooperation.

The complex will be located in Tiksi. It would be the first experiment in Yakutia to make a technology process, which will unite the wind farms, diesel generators and the system to accumulate the energy. End of the construction is due in late 2019.

"In Tiksi, in snowstorms, the wind speed may be 60 meters per second," the minister said. "The equipment will be tested in most unfriendly conditions."

The Japanese side, he continued, wants to test the equipment in extreme frosts and stormy winds. Within a year, the equipment’s effectiveness will be tested, and besides specialists will see whether operational expenses would be reasonable.

The first wind turbine of 250kWh, brought from Germany, was installed in Yakutia back in 2007, but it failed the test of Arctic winds. "This experiment demonstrated that Arctic power stations should be adjusted to the climate conditions," he said.

According to the regional ministry, the northern energy districts in the region typically use small generation sources. The region has 144 electric power plants, 18 facilities of renewable energy, for which about 70,000 tonnes of expensive diesel fuel is delivered every year.

Optimal solution for the North

Wind farms could solve the problem of energy infrastructures in the North’s isolated energy districts, the minister continued. As for the wind farms, supplied by the Japanese side, along with the equipment they will have systems to accumulate the energy and systems to manage the process and to distribute the energy. "Yakutia’s experience with renewable energy sources says that without accumulators it is impossible to solve fully the energy security problem, as without them electricity supplies cannot be smooth," he added.

Construction of three wind turbines began in 2017. "This year, the NEDO Corporation has supported the project’s implementation and is ready to supply the entire complex of equipment, which is three 300-kWh wind turbines and thee 1 MW diesel generators," the minister said.

Rushydro, in its turn, undertakes installation and transportation of the equipment in Russia, as well as the general construction work. "NEDO undertakes also the equipment’s transportation from Japan to Vladivostok’s port, and then servicing it, as well as the personnel’s training," Savvinov said.

According to the memorandum, inked on Tuesday, the wind farm will be put operational in late 2019. "For 2018, we plan projecting and construction of the wind turbines, as well as works on the electricity transmission line," the minister said. "For 2019, we plan projecting and installation of the diesel generators and production and distribution management systems, and the system will begin working in November-December, 2019."

Using renewable energy

Yakutia’s authorities will expand use of renewable energy sources. Since 2011, 19 solar power plants have been working there. Thus, the region saves quite big sums of money for diesel and becomes less dependent on the fuel supplies for coming winter seasons. "By having those power plants, for example, in 2017, we saved about 300 tonnes of diesel fuel worth almost 17 million rubles ($302,000)," the minister said.

The renewable energy is also ecology-friendly, he continued. "The North’s fragile nature requires special attention, and here renewable energy is the ideal solution."

The region’s ministry also eyes using in the northern areas portable nuclear power plants, projected by Rosatom’s division.