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Sowitec plans Russia's largest wind farm

RUSSIA: German developer Sowitec is planning what would be the largest wind farm in Russia, the 150-200MW Arkhangelsk project in the north of the country.

Sowitec has partnered with Russian utility company Mezhregionsoyuzenergo to build the project on Russia's White Sea coast after completing meteorological measurements at the site in October last year.

The project will now go before the Russian authorities under June's renewable energy auction. The first such auction took place in October, with 110MW of wind projects consented.

Sowitec said that the wind speeds are a steady 7.5 m/s, making it a low-wind site. A turbine provider has not yet been chosen.

The project is expected to cost about 16 billion rubles ($479 million). If it is given the go ahead, construction of the project is expected to begin in 2015, with commissioning in 2016.

The total capacity of wind farms installed in Russia is still lingering around the 17MW, with most projects built in the early 2000s.

Big manufacturers and developers have made noises about moving into the federation, but have made little headway.

The regulatory environment has not been favourable, with a bill to support the renewable energy industry with $3 billion of investment put on ice in April following vocal opposition from local energy producers and consumer groups concerned about bill increases.

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