Chinese contractor plans subsidy-free 800MW wind farm in Ukraine

If built, the 800MW project in Donetsk would be one of Europe’s largest onshore wind farms

Ukraine has just over 1.2GW of operational onshore wind capacity, according to Windpower Intelligence (pic creditL UWEA)

Energy construction company PowerChina is teaming with Ukrainian developer WindFarm to build an 800MW onshore wind farm that will operate without government subsidies.

If built, their 800MW Manhushskyi-Nikolskyi  project in Donetsk would be Ukraine's largest wind project and one of Europe’s biggest onshore wind farms.

Currently, a 600MW wind farm in Romania is Europe’s largest single-phase, operational wind farm, while larger, under-development projects are planned across several sites.

PowerChina and WindFarm recently signed a contract for the joint implementation of the project, which they value at $1 billion.

It will receive no tariff from the Ukrainian government, and the operators will instead sell output on a merchant basis.

Chairman of the board at the Ukrainian Wind Energy Association (UWEA) Andriy Konechenkov said this shows that the “wind power sector of Ukraine is entering a new phase of its development, based on competitive market conditions”.

Despite a cut implemented earlier this year, operators of Ukrainain wind farms typically receive generous tariffs – €99.45/MWh for projects commissioned since 1 January 2020.

It is unclear whether the developers will seek power purchase agreements with corporate customers.

It is also unclear how many turbines the project will use, which company will supply the turbines, when construction will start or when it will be online.

The project listing on WindFarm’s website indicates a scenario in which Vestas’ V150-5.6MW turbines would be used, and the project would generate about 3,130GWh per year. The Danish turbine manufacturer did not confirm or deny that it was supplying turbines for the project when approached by Windpower Monthly, while a spokesman advised Vestas would “only comment on firm and unconditional orders”.

Developer WindFarm has a 1.3GW wind power portfolio, of which more than 400MW has been successfully commissioned, according to its website.

Ukraine has just over 1.2GW of operational onshore wind capacity, according to Windpower Intelligence, the research and data division of Windpower Monthly.