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China to Build Europe's Largest Onshore Wind Farm

Chinese company PowerChina plans to build Europe's largest onshore wind farm to date in Ukraine. The project's location though is quite explosive.

Much is still in the fog for the construction project in the troubled southeast region of Ukraine (Image: Pixabay)Much is still in the fog for the construction project in the troubled southeast region of Ukraine (Image: Pixabay)

Chinese state-owned PowerChina conquers Europe's east: Together with local partners, the energy company wants to build an 800 MW wind farm in Ukraine. Once realized it would be the largest onshore wind farm in Europe, built in just one phase.

Meanwhile, the explosive aspect of the project is its location, as it is planned in the Donetsk region of all places. The south-east of Ukraine is partly controlled by pro-Russian rebels, and fighting is a recurring feature. Nevertheless, the wind farm is planned in the Manush and Nikolske districts.

The Manhushskyi-Nikolskyi wind farm is to be realised by Ukrainian developer WindFarm - and without any government support. According to the company, it has so far developed wind projects with a capacity of 1.3 GW, of which more than 400 MW have been put into operation.

PowerChina is one of the largest construction companies in China and specialises in the planning and construction of energy and transport facilities. The company was also involved in the construction of the largest power plant in the world - the Three Gorges Dam in China with a capacity of 22.5 GW - so it knows its way around large projects.

On the Yangtze River in China is the Three Gorges Dam, the largest power station in the world (Image: Pixabay)

The Ukrainian wind farm is to cost around 1 billion dollars and is to be installed through "effective implementation in the shortest possible time", as the head of WindFarm, Yuriy Zhabskyy, explained at the signing of the contract, without, however, specifying precise deadlines.

The Chairman of the Board of the Ukrainian Wind Energy Association (UWEA), Andriy Konechenkov, is enthusiastic about the construction project: "Both companies have extensive experience in implementing wind energy projects, so this project is bound to succeed. I’d like to highlight two key peculiarities of the project: firstly, the wind farm will generate and sell electricity to the consumers without any 'green' tariff! It means that the wind power sector of Ukraine is entering a new phase of its development, based on competitive market conditions. Secondly, this project envisages a local wind equipment manufacture, which facilitates national wind manufacturing.”

It's not been announced yet who will supply the turbines for the project, nor whether the operators will seek Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).

At present, a 600 MW plant in Romania is the largest operational wind farm in Europe, built in only one construction phase, according to Balkan Green Energy. Meanwhile, similar large wind farms are planned in Sweden and Norway, but are to be built in several phases.

Katrin Radtke
China, Europe, Ukraine, wind farm, onshore, construction phase, region, supplier, location, site, PowerChina, WindFarm, developer

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