Kazakhstan electricity and power market operator JSC Korem has allocated 55 MW of PV capacity in two solar energy auctions. In an auction for two solar projects with a capacity of 20 MW each, JSC Korem had originally pre-qualified 49 bidders and set a ceiling price of KZT16.97 per kWh ($0.041). The two projects, which are planned to be located near the city of Kentau in the rural district of Iassy, in the Turkestan region; and near the city of Aralsk, in the Kyzylorda region, respectively, were both secured by Russian solar module manufacturer and project developer Hevel Solar, which offered a final price of KZT16.96 per kWh ($0.040) and KZT14.58 per kWh ($0.035), respectively.

The new contracts will help increase Hevel’s solar portfolio in the country to 288 MW, with the two new projects expected to come online in 2022. With a current operational solar portfolio in Kazakhstan of eight facilities that have a total capacity of more than 248 MW, Hevel is looking to expand its presence in the country both by participating in auctions and acquiring projects from other companies.

In a second auction for smaller solar parks with a combined capacity of 15 MW, 49 bidders participated and the total volume of applications reached 36.15 MW, with the ceiling price being the same as the other PV auction. The lowest final price in this procurement exercise reached KZT14.99 per kWh.

In the first solar auction, held in 2018, JSC Korem selected four PV projects totaling 170 MW and the lowest bid was KZT18.6/kWh. In the next, 50 MW procurement exercise held a year later, the total allocated power was 50 MW and the lowest price was KZT12.49.

REGlobal’s Views: Currently, renewable energy sources make up 2.3 per cent of the general energy output in Kazakhstan. But the country is moving rapidly towards developing its solar power capacity. Within a decade, solar energy could become a significant alternative source of energy for remote communities in Kazakhstan, covering up to 15 per cent of the country’s energy needs by 2030.