Eni SPA inaugurated Wednesday a 50 megawatts (MW) photovoltaic power plant in Kazakhstan, over three years since the awarding of the project.
The project is designed to produce up to 90 gigawatt hours of electricity annually with 93,000 panels and an electrical substation, according to operator Eni Plenitude Wind & Energy SRL. It will rise on 100 hectares of land in the Turkistan region and will have a 4.66 powerline for integration into the national grid.
“The construction of the Shaulder [village] photovoltaic farm represents the first important step for Plenitude in the solar energy sector in Kazakhstan”, Stefano Goberti, chief executive of Eni renewables arm Plenitude, said in a press release Wednesday. “The plant will contribute to the development of Turkistan Region by making available to the local territory the most advanced technologies in this field”.
The Italian energy giant announced the awarding of the project by Kazakhstan authorities at the end of 2019. “This award marks Eni’s entry in the solar sector of the country and it confirms the company’s role as one of the most prominent energy players in Kazakhstan”, Eni said in a news release December 2, 2019. The plant will have a reduction of 1.2 million metric tons in greenhouse gas emissions over its lifetime, Eni said then, initially providing a completion date of 2021.
The solar plant is Eni’s fourth renewable energy project in Kazakhstan. Earlier this year it said it has signed a deal with state-owned KazMunyGas JSC for a 250 MW hybrid plant with solar, wind and gas generation. Power produced here will supply KazMunyGas subsidiaries in the Mangystau region, Eni said in a media release June 8.
Last year it inaugurated its second wind farm in Kazakhstan with a 48 ME capacity, located in Aktobe region. “To date the wind turbines of Badamsha II are the largest installed in Kazakhstan, both in terms of size (rotor diameter 158 meters, hub 101 meters) and power (4.8 MW each) and are expected to deliver an annual energy generation up to 200 GWh, which is equivalent to the energy consumption of around 37,000 households, and an overall CO2 [carbon dioxide] saving of 173,000 tons per year”, Eni said March 2, 2022.
Its first wind farm in the country, Badamsha I, was commissioned early 2020, according to Eni. Badamsha II has resulted in Eni’s total installed wind capacity in Kazakhstan increasing to 96 MW, it said in its annual report for 2022 released January 26, 2023.
Eni’s renewable energy projects in Kazakhstan “will contribute to Kazakhstan’s ongoing energy transition process and carbon neutrality goals”, Goberti said in Wednesday’s announcement of the solar project.
Kazakhstan has set an unconditional target of curbing its greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent by 2030 relative to 1990 levels. An auctioning mechanism it has implemented since 2018 “made it possible to reduce twice the tariffs for green energy”, Astana says on its National Determined Contribution (NDC) deposited before the United Nations June 27, 2023. NDCs, which lay out countries’ emission reduction commitments, are a requirement of the 2015 Paris Agreement to avoid a climate change catastrophe.
Eni meanwhile targets to get to net zero in terms of planet-warming emissions by 2050. In a press statement May 11, Eni said it “continued implementing the necessary measures to achieve Scope 1 and 2 net zero emissions in the Upstream by 2030, by investing in emission-reduction technologies and developing low-carbon projects”.