Russia’s first offshore wind park comes to White Sea

By Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer - November 30, 2016

A deal signed this week by Karelian Governor Aleksandr Khudilainen and Li Yan, Vice President of Sinomec, includes the investment of 9 billion rubles (€130 million) in an offshore wind park located off the coast of Karelia.

The White Sea park will have a capacity of 60 MWh and is planned built in the period 2017-2020, according to the regional government.

“The development of this project will not only improve the energy situation, it will also create jobs and promote the image of the republic,” said Khudilainen.

Russia's White Sea. (Atle Staalesen / The Independent Barents Observer)
Russia’s White Sea. (Atle Staalesen / The Independent Barents Observer)

The Republic of Karelia currently depends on hydroelectric power generation and imports from the neighboring regions of Murmansk and Leningrad Oblast.

More than 65 percent of the project equipment will be provided by Russian companies and 200 jobs will be created in the construction phase. About 30 people will be employed in the production phase, the regional government said.

Financing is provided by Sinomec along with the Russian Direct Investment Fund.

“Wind generation is interesting for our company, we know that Russia today supports clean energy projects and are ready to develop in the republic,” Sinomec’s Li Yan said.

Sinomec is already investing in the development of a new hydropower station in Karelia. The Chinese company is one of the stakeholders in the Beloporozhsky project, the first investment object in Russia of BRICS investment body New Development Bank.

Russia today has only a handful of wind power projects and none offshore.