Russia turning from oil and gas to solar panels

Russia is widely known as being the biggest oil and gas exporter but now it seems that the country is going to be known for another thing, solar panels.

A worker inspects solar panels at a solar farm in Dunhuang, 950km northwest of Lanzhou, Gansu Province

[Image Courtesy of Carlos Barria]

Russia has begun to make small inroads into solar farms and developer Hevel Solar is putting up an investment of $450 million into building the solar panel farms in Russia between now and 2018. The company is a partnership between the company owned by Viktor Vekselberg, Renova Group, and Rusnano, the nanotech company. They plan on making their own solar panels along with building solar panel farms.

Hevel Solar hopes to finish off their third solar panel farm by the summer and their first project is located in East Siberia. They have another in Orenburg which is close to the southern border of Kazakhstan and this finished construction last week.

Of course Russia isn’t known for its sunny climate as other successful solar farms have been built in such as Chile and the US. They are more known for their gas and oil. However, the company has faith in solar panel farms and they have built them in the sunnier regions of the country. They said that there is a market for replacing off-grid diesel generators as these are expensive when it comes to maintenance and fuel.

Via [Fortune]