Saudi developer ACWA Power has installed six wind measuring and monitoring stations to determine the best turbine positions at the site of a planned 240MW wind farm in eastern Azerbaijan.
Wind measurements will be carried out over 9-12 months, the Azerbaijani energy ministry stated.
ACWA Power intends to install 40 turbines with power ratings of 6MW each in the Absheron peninsula of Azerbaijan, as the developer expands in the Caspian region.
It had secured the rights to develop the project in a renewable energy tender earlier this year after the government selected the company’s plans – alongside a 200MW solar array being built by UAE-based Masdar – from a pool of nine competing energy companies.
Azerbaijan’s president, Ilcham Aliev, recently signed an order calling for the creation of conditions to facilitate a significant increase of wind power in the country’s energy mix.
Announcing the results of the tender earlier this year, energy minister Parviz Shahbazov explained the government wanted to diversify the oil and gas-exporting country’s electricity production with renewable energy sources. The country aims to source 30% of its domestic electricity needs from renewable energy by 2030.
Thermal power accounted for about 91% of total generation in 2017 in the former Soviet republic, according to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which assisted the country with its renewables tender round. Meanwhile, wind and solar contributed less than 1% of the total output that year.
Azerbaijan has 61.6MW of operational wind power capacity, according to Windpower Intelligence, the research and data division of Windpower Monthly, with the largest project having a capacity of 50MW. It also has about 28MW of operational solar PV capacity, according to the EBRD.