The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) will provide up to 37 million US dollars to finance the construction of 11 solar power plants with a total capacity of up to 65 megawatts (MW) in the Gegharkunik and Aragatsotn regions of Armenia.
Developing renewable energy sources is a priority of the Armenian government’s energy strategy as RES can reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels, which are fully imported.
“Today, Armenia’s energy system is based on thermal, nuclear and hydroelectric power,” commented Nikolai Podguzov, Chairman of the EDB Management Board. “Natural gas remains the largest source of total energy supply and the main energy carrier in total final consumption.”
In particular, the potential of solar power plants in Armenia is estimated at 8 gigawatts (GW) as the average annual sunshine is 2,700 hours while the average annual solar radiation falling on a horizontal surface is about 1,720 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per square metre (the European average is 1,000 kWh per square metre).
“According to our strategy in Armenia, the EDB focuses on distributed solar power projects and the construction and modernisation of hydropower facilities,” continued Mr Podguzov. “The Bank’s objective until 2026 is to help diversify the country’s sources of electricity generation. In doing so, we not only increase the reliability of the energy system but also significantly improve the environment by reducing carbon emissions.”
All the facilities are scheduled to be commissioned this year. The investment will be repaid from payments under electricity sales contracts between the borrower and the Electric Networks of Armenia.