Nikopol solar power plant is a 246MW photovoltaic (PV) power facility located in Dnipropetrovsk region of Ukraine. It is one of the biggest solar power facilities in Ukraine and is the second solar project to be developed by DTEK Renewables (DTEK) in the country.
The project was developed as part of Ukraine’s national energy strategy, which seeks to achieve a total renewable energy output of 5GW by 2020 and reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2035.
Construction of the project began in April 2018 and the first power was evacuated to the national grid of Ukraine in March 2019. DTEK invested approximately €230m (£205.7m) in the project.
The solar farm is capable of generating sufficient power for 100,000 households, while displacing 300,000t of carbon emissions.
Nikopol solar power plant location and make-up
The Nikopol solar power plant is developed on a 400ha site near Nikopol in the Dnipropetrovsk region. The site is located on the land of a depleted quarry, which is not suitable for agriculture.
The plant is installed with 750,000 photovoltaic solar modules with a capacity of 330W each and 80 inverter stations. The high-efficiency poly-crystalline modules measure 1,956mmx992mmx50mm and weigh up to 24kg.
Each module consists of 72 pieces of solar cells measuring 156mmx156mm each. The front glass is 3.2mm-thick and features anti-reflective coating.
The photovoltaic modules can produce higher power output at low irradiance, have a Class C fire rating, and are installed with safety systems to prevent salt mist corrosion. They are fitted with a ground rack system and can withstand mechanical load of up to 5,400Pa.
The project is financed through DTEK’s own funds and from a loan secured from the Export Credit Agency of China.
The photovoltaic modules for the Nikopol solar power plant were supplied by Seraphim Solar system and Trina Solar.
The modules were delivered to the site by the China-Europe Train (Zhengzhou) from the Zhengzhou Railway Container Distribution Center in China.
DTEK signed an agreement with China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC), a Sinomach group member company, for the design and construction of the plant, in April 2018. CMEC acted as the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor for the project.
Shenzhen Kstar Science and Technology supplied inverters for the project.
Solar energy market in Ukraine
The Ukrainian government plans to scale-up its renewable energy consumption from 3.8% to 11% by 2020. Ukrenergo, a state-run power company, predicts the renewable energy capacity of Ukraine to grow from 1.5GW to 3GW in 2019.
An active investment of $3.4bn has been made by the government for the development of the sector.
The solar energy sector witnessed the highest number of installations with 948MW installed in 2018, followed by wind energy with 515MW. The total solar power installed in the first half of 2018 was 206MW.
The rise in solar energy projects can be largely attributed to the feed-in tariff of $0.17/kWh set by the Ukraine government for ground-mounted facilities connected to the feed between 2017 and 2019.