Strength and power taken successfully from nature
Mogilev Region relies on development of alternative energy
By Svetlana Paramygina
The wind turbines which appeared a couple of years ago near the regional centre immediately attracted attention, being an unusual sight in Belarus. Installed by Mogilev Tycoon Enterprise, they are saving the company money.
The director of the business, Sergey Sergievich, tells us, “We are pioneers in developing wind power in the Dnieper River area, having installed our first wind turbine near the village of Zhukovo, in the Mogilev District, two years ago. Today, we have eight, with the most recent being even more powerful.”
Mr. Sergievich studied mountains of literature and the experience of Western colleagues before making his decision. He also researched wind patterns locally and found that the Mogilev Region has plenty of this natural resource, being similar to Germany, where (as in the rest of Europe) wind turbines have been long used successfully. Some months are more productive than others, with last December generating the most power so far. This electricity fully supplies Mogilevenergo but Mr. Sergievich won’t reveal how long it will take for the turbines to ‘pay for themselves’. He doesn’t want to give his competitors too much information! Naturally, we can assume that the turbines are a good long-term investment. In fact, the company has also installed solar panels nearby, since there is enough sun in Belarus to make this worthwhile. Tycoon is now planning to build a solar module station in Bykhov, on the site of a former military airfield.
One of the leading agricultural enterprises in the Mogilev Region and nationally is Rassvet co-operative, in the Kirov District. At the end of last year, it launched Belarus’ largest biogas unit, processing agricultural waste into energy. Ideally, the amount of electricity produced is enough not only for this district but, partially, for those nearby.
“We’re generating Br2.5bn per month from the sale of electricity,” notes the Chairman of Rassvet, Alexander Bagel. “Plus, we cover all the needs of our agricultural enterprise.” Its greenhouses require a considerable amount of energy, as do the grain drying systems. The Chairman of the Mogilev Regional Executive Committee, Piotr Rudnik, stresses that other businesses should follow this model, building smaller biogas units — to at least provide for their own needs.
Tomorrow begins today
“The prospects of alternative energy are obvious,” emphasises the Head of Energy and Fuel, on the Mogilev Regional Executive Committee, Nikolay Yurkov. He adds, “Across the region, a lot is being done to develop this sphere.”
Triple company’s major investment project to install wind turbines is on the cards, using Siemens equipment, in the Gorki and Mstislavl districts. Each site is to have eight wind turbines, producing 20 MW of electricity. All together, three sites are to launch, producing 60 MW. Using large-scale equipment, as in Europe, it will reduce the area needed for wind turbines. Land comes at a price.
“By creating a detailed map of wind patterns at each site, we are solving technical and organisational issues,” Mr. Yurkov explains. “We expect that our first industrial wind turbines will be launched in 2015.”
According to the project, the investment should pay for itself within 7-8 years, producing enough energy for about 10 districts: half of the region. The Mogilev Region’s community services also plan to install turbines, smaller in size, alongside two mini-hydropower stations, in Mogilev and Bobruisk. Wastewater treatment facilities should also launch this year.
“It’s planned to build a larger hydroelectric plant on the River Dnieper,” Mr. Yurkov admits. A solar power plant is also planned, partially funded by a Chinese nuclear power engineering company. Accordingly, a factory is being launched to make solar panels locally, at the Mogilev FEZ.