Clean Power

Published on March 7th, 2015 | by James Ayre

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Hevel Solar Brings 1st Full-Cycle PV Module Manufacturing Facility In Russia Online

March 7th, 2015 by  



Hevel Solar — a leading solar energy company in Russia — recently launched the first full-cycle solar photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturing facility in the country.

The facility — which is located in the town of Novocheboksarsk, in the autonomous republic of Chuvashia — is slated to manufacture roughly one million solar PV modules a year, possessing an annual manufacturing output of 130 megawatts (MW).

Image Credit: Hevel Solar


 

Worth noting upfront is that Hevel Solar’s investment in the manufacturing facility has been around $325 million.

Something else worth noting, the thin-film solar module production approach in use at the facility is reportedly based on the application (via spraying) of nano-layers — apparently resulting in a roughly 200-fold decrease in silicon use, thereby lowering costs as a result.

Hevel Solar has also made the claim that the solar modules produced at this facility will be better suited toward generating electricity in cloudy weather than conventional ones. Interesting. Considering that the broader region (Eastern Europe, and Europe in general) does get cloudy regularly and has very grey winters, that would certainly be a useful trait.

The vast majority of the solar modules produced at this facility will be used in the development of utility-scale solar projects in Russia — in particular, those located in remote regions that are currently dependent upon the grid via relatively far off generation capacity.

As it stands, Hevel Solar is currently set to construct at least 500 MW of such projects by 2021.

The company also recently made the announcement that it had decided to increase the planned generating capacity of a project currently under development in the Rostov region to 53 MW, up from the previously planned 30 MW. Along with the increase in planned capacity, costs will of course rise as well — in this case from $48.7 million to $81.2 million, according to the director general of the Rostov Region Development Agency.

Image Credit: Hevel Solar





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About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.



  • onesecond

    When you read the news nowadays it tells you how deluded Toxic Tony really is. Even Saudi Arabia and Russia got it that renewables are the future, yet Australia’s government is hellbent on destroying its own renewable industry. Utterly insane.

    • Larmion

      Hang on a second. Saudi Arabia has made some interesting noises but did nothing. Russia isn’t even making the right noises. Its share of renewable energy is falling from a very low base, not increasing (hydro is falling as a percentage of generation and no other renewables have been or are due to be added in significant numbers).

      Meanwhile, Australia has been adding a lot of RE and is still adding quite a bit today, despite hostile rethoric and an uncertain policy environment.

      Countries like Australia have a vocal civil society that loudly pressures governments into doing more than they already do. Meanwhile, countries like Russia can make announcements that are marginal at best without them being challenged in any way.

      • onesecond

        The point was the direction in which these countries are moving. Australia seems to be the only one actually heading backwards. That’s all I’m saying.

        • Larmion

          And yet it is installing much more renewable power (especially as a percentage of total generation) than Russia has been doing or is likely to do in the future.

          Judge people (and nations) by their achievements, not by their words or promises.

          Some of the countries whose politicians have been the most vocal about ‘green crap’ (Canada, the UK, Australia) have been excellent performers when it comes to renewable energy. Other countries have been keen to pay lip service to climate change and renewables yet have achieved little progress in increasing RE as a percentage of total energy (India, for example).

          Australia can and should do more. But any comparison with Russia is absurd. Australia is still moving forward: rooftop PV is still being installed at a healthy pace and utility scale renewables are slugging along. Meanwhile, Russia’s share of renewable electricity generation has actually been in decline in the last few years. In. Decline. That makes it a rarity among the nations of this world.

          • onesecond

            I judge by their actions. Carbon tax was axed and the RET hangs out to dry pending further reduction. I think it is fair to say that Toxic Tony and his government did not get renewables being the future. If he was in charge in Saudi Arabia or Russia, there simply wouldn’t be any Saudi investments in pv or comments like “the end of the oil age is on the horizon” or any solar engagement in Russia. It is much harder to roll back achievements than to simply do nothing. Of course Australia’s civil society is much more advanced than Russia’s or Saudi Arabia’s and so is its renewable deployment, but read my original comment again before you take another detour. I was making a valid point about the Toxic Tony government.

          • Larmion

            And yet rooftop PV is still growing strongly. Large scale renewable growth has slowed, but is still limping along. Meanwhile, neither Russia nor SA are adding significant amounts of RE, nor have meaningful plans for RE.

            That’s what I mean by judging by achievement. The figures don’t lie: Australia still adds more RE per capita than most other countries.

            Could Australia be adding for more had it not been for Tony’s insane energy policies? Absolutely. But at the end of the day, Australia is still doing reasonably well.

          • onesecond

            Your reply is still besides the point. I don’t know how I can make myself any clearer. If you choose to get me wrong, there is nothing I can do, I guess.

        • Matt

          Australia shows two extremes. Central government (Tony) wanting to return to the dark ages. And then city governments trying to go 100% RE. Still massive DG rooftop PV being installed. Storage on the cusp. So yea, it is hard to say what is really up.

          • onesecond

            Yeah, I think on the local and civil level Australia gets it very well. Its just the Tony Abott government, that is highly delusional. They are heavily opposed to renewable energy for ideological and probably corrupt reasons and the fun part is, they only got in charge cause they lied during the elections, where they said RET had bipartisan support.

      • Raahul Kumar

        Rossiya is on track to slash fossil fuels by half, building a lot of hydropower and nuclear.

        “In parallel with this Russia is greatly increasing its hydro-electric capacity, aiming to increase by 60% to 2020 and double it by 2030. Hydro OGK is planning to commission 5 GWe by 2011. The 3 GWe Boguchanskaya plant in Siberia is being developed in collaboration with Rusal, for aluminium smelting. The aim is to have almost half of Russia’s electricity from nuclear and hydro by 2030.”

        http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Country-Profiles/Countries-O-S/Russia–Nuclear-Power/

        Australia has shipped a lot of coal and oil overseas, which is purely negative. In addition, each and every Australian is the worst polluter per capita on Earth.

        ” Australia has overtaken the U.S. as the biggest emitter per person of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas blamed for global warming, according to a British risk analysis firm. ”

        http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aN60ck4Sz4iE

        While Rossiya hasn’t merely cut its emisions, it’s also exported fast reactor technology and funded other countries to cut their emissions, like South Africa which is building lots of fast reactors and solar.

        This is the exact opposite of Tony “Coal Face” Abbott or Stephen “Shale Oil” Harper. Putin delivers, but Aussies brag about things they haven’t even done.

  • JamesWimberley

    Easter Russia and Siberia are cold, but surprisingly dry and sunny – most of the rain falls further west. http://www.everredtronics.com/files/world_global_8100.png. The Chuvash Republic, in the angle of the Volga west of Kazan and the Urals. has as much sun as most of France and more than Germany.

    It’s noticeable that solar in Russia is led by the autonomous republics, usually built round an ethnic minority. The “autonomy” is relative of course, but they do have more freedom of action than ordinary oblasts. The ethnic identity gives them an additional motive to exercise it. The Kremlin evidently does not see solar initiatives as threatening.

  • Larmion

    “Hevel Solar has also made the claim that the solar modules produced at this
    facility will be better suited toward generating electricity in cloudy
    weather than conventional one”

    Almost all thin film manufacturers say this about their product (Hanergy too, for example), yet I can’t find a physics-based explanation for this and it’s also not something confirmed by testing organisations like TUV Rheinland.

    So is this false advertising/wishful thinking or am I missing something?

    • Bob_Wallace

      I’m with you. I’ve heard the claim but been unable to find any supporting data.

      I’d love to find out that thin film produced more under clouds. I want to add more panels to the system – for cloudy days.

  • tibi stibi

    the fun thing with solar is that building a factory like this can be compared to a powerplant. but a powerplant will produce energy in the same amount every year, a solar panel factory adds the same amount of energy producing panels every year.

    this way solar must keep growing, these factories will not sit still they must produce their panels every year 🙂

    • JamesWimberley

      You are right, but let’s go further, Solar panel (or wind or steam turbine) factories are not like power plants all. One of the huge disadvantages of nuclear power is that reactors can’t be built much in factories, enjoying a controlled environment and economies of scale: they are essentially large construction projects, at which we aren’t much better than the Romans. Solar farms and wind turbines need on-site installation too, but on shore at least these are comparatively simple tasks.

  • Philip W

    With russias current crisis one could think that they are building 100 of those at the same time to reduce the economies dependence on oil and gas. Yet there is still almost nothing being done. At least this factory is a tiny step in the right direction.

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