On April 14, President of the Distributed Power Generation Association Maksim Zagornov took part in the discussion of the Road map for the implementation of the concept of attracting private investment to the development of distributed power generation in remote and isolated regions of the Far East and the Arctic. The discussion took place within the framework of a conference organized by the Ministry of Development of the Far East and the Arctic, the Corporation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic and the Eastern Center for State Planning.
Let us recall that the concept of attracting private investment to the development of distributed power generation in remote and isolated areas is a comprehensive document describing approaches to the implementation of the state task of modernizing inefficient diesel (fuel oil, coal) generation in the Far East and the Arctic. The concept has already passed extensive expert discussion, including that at the sites of the Energy Committee of the State Duma and the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation, and received the support of the professional community (including the special prize of the Distributed Power Generation — Great Achievements International Award). Meanwhile, the elaboration of specific mechanisms for the implementation of the road map by the key players in the energy market continues.
As Vladimir Sofyin, Director of the Innovation Department of RusHydro PJSC, noted during the conference, the Far East region has more than 11.5 million inhabitants, more than 350 settlements, thousands of infrastructure facilities that require uninterrupted power supply. Today, more than 160 diesel power plants are located in the service area of RusHydro PJSC. And although many of them still meet the reliability standards, they no longer meet the energy efficiency requirements. That is why RusHydro decided to launch a comprehensive modernization program for diesel generation through energy service contracts.
«We decided to attract investors for the modernization of diesel installations. The stake was made on hybrid energy complexes that combine a modern diesel or gas turbine plant, renewable energy generation and electric energy storage. Last year, the first two investors were identified and have already started work. By the end of 2021, hybrid energy centers will appear in six settlements in the Far East», — said Vladimir Sofyin.
In total, within the framework of the comprehensive program, RusHydro PJSC plans to implement 79 projects, during which 100 MW of inefficient diesel generation will be replaced. The total investment is estimated at 10 billion rubles. The expert also outlined the key problems that investors face: the difficulties of logistics (equipment can be delivered only by the winter roads or by waterways), as well as the tightening of requirements for developers associated with the adoption of the Package of Arctic Laws.
Maksim Zagornov, President of the Distributed Power Generation Association, CEO of MKC Group of Companies, confirmed that one of the most effective solutions in remote and isolated regions of the Far East and the Arctic is replacing obsolete diesel power plants with modern power facilities, and the Association has already accumulated experience in implementing such technological projects. In this case, gas should be considered as the main fuel.
«The liquefied gas projects are developing very actively now. There are several deposits in Yakutia, and it is interesting to develop gas generation there. In addition, it must be borne in mind that this is still the North, the climatic conditions are harsh, heat is needed more than electricity. And, of course, solar and wind power generation will not be able to fully provide consumers with heat resources. That is why we see the development of energy in these territories in the transition from diesel to gas generation, supplemented with energy from renewable sources», — said Maksim Zagornov.
Meanwhile, one of the most problematic issues the investors face, according to the expert, is obtaining guarantees for the return of investments.
«Today the mechanism of return of investments is not completely clear for investors. That is why business is very cautious about such projects which carry certain risks. In these territories, as we know, there are settlements that live off diesel fuel, and local residents are not always willing to support such undertakings», — said Maksim Zagornov.
President of the Distributed Power Generation Association Maksim Zagornov made a proposal to include in the Road map the issue of guarantees of return of investments for investors. At the same time, he emphasized that, in general, projects for the development of distributed generation in remote and isolated regions of the Far East and the Arctic are promising and can be implemented with a good payback period.
Based on the results of the discussion, the draft Road map for the implementation of the concept of attracting private investment in the development of distributed generation in remote and isolated regions of the Far East and the Arctic will be finalized and sent to the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East for further approval by state authorities.