Solar energy to supply the energy needs in the Altaisky biosphere reserve

On 1 March 2013, a 100 kW hybrid diesel-solar power station was put into operation in Yailu village in the Altaisky biosphere reserve (Russian Federation). The power station is the only one to use solar energy in the country and supplies a large village with electricity 24 hours a day. Given the problems that can affect electricity supply in remote villages, this event is of singular importance. Previously the village had used an old diesel generator and electricity was supplied only during the daytime.

The project was implemented through the joint efforts of various organizations and agencies. The power station was financed by the federal budget with co-financing from Hevel, Moscow, (a joint venture between Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies and  Renova Group of Companies). Other organizations were also involved in project implementation, helping mostly with equipment installation. These were: A.F. Ioffe Physics-Technical Institute (St. Petersburg), the Russian Academy of Science, LLC ‘Avelar Solar Technology’ (Moscow) and ‘Solar Energy’ (Altai Republic). The Altaisky biosphere reserve also demonstrated great initiative and contributed significantly to this project.

The autonomous hybrid power station, which includes solar modules and a diesel generator, is controlled automatically. It is expected that operation of this station will lead to a 50% reduction in annual consumption of diesel fuel in this remote village. The warranty period is 25 years. At present, the power station is working in test mode and all technical parameters are being monitored. In June, the station will be opened officially.

This power plant will serve as an educational and demonstration resource for students and visitors to the Teletskoe Lake and the Altaisky biosphere reserve, educating them about the use of renewable energy sources. Scientists believe that the installation of the hybrid power station could mark the beginning of large-scale development and deployment of solar energy in Russia, starting in its remote regions.