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Russian wind sees $173m boost from German group

Azov VES planning to build 90MW wind farm in the Rostov region, in the southern part of the country

Russia’s fledgling wind power sector is in line for another significant boost as  German developer SoWiTec advances plans for a 90MW development in the Rostov region, in the southern part of the country.

SoWiTec’s local unit Azov VES has inked an agreement with regional authorities over a 133-hectare site.

The preliminary cost of the development, which would outstrip the capacity of all the existing wind farms in Russia combined, is around 10bn rubles ($173m), the country’s wind energy association (Rawi) said.

The project was granted a 10-year permit without participating in a tender, as regional law in Russia supports large-scale investment projects, according to Rawi.

The development is expected to be commissioned and able to deliver electricity to the market in 2020.

Russia's Rosatom links with Lagerwey for 610MW of wind

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At the end of 2015, Russia had only 15.4MW of installed wind capacity, according to industry body WindEurope, but the country has ambitious plans to add 22GW of renewables capacity by 2020.

In 2015, Russia awarded 280MW of PV and 35MW of wind in a clean-energy tender, following up on similar auctions in 2014 and 2013.

However, stringent local-content requirements – 65% of the equipment at wind farms must be sourced in Russia  – have cast doubts over how realistic the country’s green ambitions are.

Looking to abide Russia’s strict rules, state-owned nuclear group Rosatom via its OTEK unit and Dutch wind turbine manufacturer Lagerwey partnered up earlier this year to develop a 610MW onshore wind pipeline.

Finnish developer Fortum says it is working on a 35MW project in Ulyanovsk that is due to start production by the end of 2017.

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