Kazakhstan: 1 GW solar, renewables auction; first bidding round planned for May

The long-awaited series of auctions is expected to see the participation of big players such as ACWA Power, Sky Power, Shell, General Electric and Goldwind, the Kazakh government said.

 Kazakh Deputy Minister of Energy, Gani Sadibekov has announced that a series of auctions for large-scale renewable energy power projects will be launched this year, and that the first bidding round will be held in May. Overall, the government intends to allocate around 1 GW of renewable energy power generation capacity through the tenders.

“A number of domestic and foreign companies, including ACWA Power (the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), Sky Power (Canada), Shell, General Electric (the USA) and Goldwind (China) expressed their desire to participate in the auction,” the Kazakh government said in its statement. No more details on the auctions’ bidding rules or eventual quota for single renewable energy technologies were provided.

When implemented, the new auction scheme will be Kazakhstan’s first serious attempt to increase the share of renewables in its energy mix, after several failed efforts at introducing a FIT program by the country’s government over the previous years.

The transition to the auction scheme was announced last year by Energy Minister, Kanat Aldabergenovich Bozumbayev.

Currently there are several large-scale PV projects under development in the country, which could potentially compete in the auction. The most recently announced is a 14 MW solar PV project being planned by French solar company, Urbasolar.

Another project is the 50 MW Baikonur Solar park, which will be located in the Kyzylorda region, in the south of the country, close to the border with Uzbekistan. The project’s developer, Samruk Kazyna United Green Energy Ltd, is also planning to install two more 50 MW solar parks in Kazakhstan – the Burnoye Solar-1 and the Burnoye Solar-2 – both in the southern region of Zhambyl. Both will be financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Furthermore, a 100 MW PV plant is also being planned by local company KBEnterprises with the support of ABB near Kabanbay, Tselinograd District, in the north of the country.

In order to support investments in the solar sector, the Kazakh government announced in May the launch of Solar Resources Atlas – atlassolar.kz, a new online application for the mapping of Kazakhstan’s solar energy potential.

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