First wind turbine rotor blades have been shipped out of a joint-venture manufacturing plant in Russia of Danish wind OEM Vestas with its local partners Rusnano and Ulyanovsk Oblast, Russian wind power association RAWI said.

The 62-metre-long blades will be installed at a wind farm in the Rostov region that is part of a 1.8GW pipeline won at tenders by a joint venture between Finnish utility Fortum and Russian development firm Rusnano.

The blades are manufactured from glass fabrics produced at local producer Steklovolokno in Gus-Khrustalny, which RAWI points out is essential to meet a 65% local content requirement. The blades make up 18 percentage points of the total, the association said.

The first blade shipments come as the industry is awaiting a new strategy for renewable energy for the post-2024 period, which according to market observers will include a target of at least 7.5GW in additional renewables capacity by 2035.

RAWI last week told Recharge it hopes the energy ministry will decide still this year on the new strategy for renewable energy.

Due to strict local content rules, Western companies such as Vestas and Siemens Gamesa have already invested in local production facilities in Russia. Such spending will hardly be profitable unless Russia really goes ahead with considerable amounts of fresh wind power installations also after 2024.

Russia in 2013 had started to hold annual tenders to reach 5.4GW of renewable energy capacity by 2024, of which at least 3.35GW will come from wind power.