Nikopol solar power plant is being developed in the Dnipropetrovsk region of Ukraine by DTEK Renewables (DTEK). It is expected to be the biggest solar power project in Ukraine and the second such project of DTEK in the country.
With an installed capacity of 246MW, Nikopol will generate sufficient power for 100,000 households and displace 300,000t of carbon emissions. DTEK is investing €230m ($265) in the project.
Construction of the project began in April 2018 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2018. The plant will be connected to the national grid of Ukraine by March 2019.
The project is commissioned as part of Ukraine’s national energy strategy, which seeks to achieve a total renewable energy output of 5GW by 2020 and reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2035.
Nikopol solar power plant location and make-up
The Nikopol solar power plant project is being developed on a 400ha site near Nikopol in the Dnipropetrovsk region. The site is located on the land of a depleted quarry, which is not suitable for agriculture.
The plant will be fitted with 750,000 photovoltaic solar modules with a capacity of 330W each and 80 inverter stations. The high-efficiency poly-crystalline modules measure 1,956mmx992mmx50mm and weigh up to 24kg. The modules contain 72 pieces of solar cells measuring 156mmx156mm. The front glass is 3.2mm-thick and features anti-reflective coating.
The photovoltaic modules can produce higher power output at low irradiance. They have a Class C fire rating and are installed with safety systems to prevent salt mist corrosion. The modules will be fitted with a ground rack system and can withstand mechanical load of up to 5,400Pa.
The photovoltaic modules were delivered to the site by the China-Europe Train (Zhengzhou) from the Zhengzhou Railway Container Distribution Center in China through the Belt and Road initiative.
“The Nikopol solar power plant project is being developed on a 400ha site near Nikopol in the Dnipropetrovsk region.”Nikopol solar power plant
The project will be financed through DTEK’s own funds and from a loan secured from the Export Credit Agency of China.
The photovoltaic modules for the project will be supplied by Seraphim Solar system and Trina Solar.
DTEK signed an agreement with Chinese corporation China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC), a Sinomach group member company, for the design and construction of the plant. CMEC will act as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the project.
Shenzhen Kstar Science and Technology is supplying inverters for the project.
Solar energy market in Ukraine
The Ukrainian government plans to upscale its renewable energy consumption from 3.8% to 11% by 2020. Ukrenergo, a state-run power company, predicts the renewable energy capacity of Ukraine to grow from 1.5GW to 3GW in 2019. An active investment of $3.4bn has been made by the government for the development of the sector.
The solar energy sector witnessed the highest number of installations with 948MW being installed in 2018, followed by wind energy with 515MW. The total solar power installed in the first half of 2018 was 206MW.
The rise in solar energy projects can be largely attributed to the feed-in tariff of $0.17/kWh set by the Ukraine government for ground-mounted facilities that will connect to the feed between 2017 and 2019.