Kazakhstan starts solar power plant

In spite of the northern longitude of the geographical location of Kazakhstan, the country’s solar energy resources are stable and favorable, according to officials. Concentrated solar thermal power is particularly well-suited to this country, which has one of the highest per capita solar insolation.

Kazakhstan, which is rich in natural resources—particularly oil, natural gas, and coal, has recently focused on developing its renewable energy sector with an aim to diversify the country’s energy supply.

Kazakh officials have stated that the use of renewable energy resources is now a priority as part of its development of the power industry as well as finding solutions to Kazakhstan’s ecological problems.

One of the promising areas of the renewable energy sector in Kazakhstan is solar power for the production of thermal energy and electricity.

The government has implemented different projects and attempts to attract foreign investments to the solar power plant construction.

German company Promondis Kazakhstan has started the construction of Kazakhstan’s largest solar power plant with a total capacity of 75 MW in the South Kazakhstan province, The Astana Times reported citing the province’s administration.

Foreign investment in this project will stand at a total of $250 million. The first phase — construction of a solar power plant generating 35 MW — has already started in the village of Koksarai in the Otyrar district. This specific plant is expected to create 35 permanent jobs.

Saparbek Tuyakbayev, the deputy governor of the South Kazakhstan province said the province’s administration had provided direct support at all stages of the development of the integrated project in all aspects of organizational and administrative measures, particularly in obtaining land permits, agreeing on connection points, and the project’s inclusion in the official list of renewable energy projects at the Kazakh Energy Ministry.

He noted that at least six renewable energy projects with a total capacity of 290 megawatts are planned in the South Kazakhstan province between 2015 and 2016, adding that consequently, the current deficit of the province’s electricity need of 280 megawatts will be fully covered by the renewable energy sector by 2017.