Austrian solar company Activ Solar GmbH has completed the final and fifth 20 megawatt phase of the photovoltaic Perovo Solar Power Park, bringing the facility’s capacity to 100 megawatts. According to Activ Solar GmbH, the Perovo Solar Power Park installation will produce 132,500 megawatt hours of electricity per year and will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 105,000 tons per year.
Vienna-based Activ Solar GmbH’s founder and CEO Kaveh Ertefai commented “The completion of the Perovo project is a major achievement for Activ Solar GmbH as our largest to-date and is a testament to our structuring and execution capabilities in a challenging global economic environment. We are proud of the quality of the work accomplished and the dedication of our team to deliver this successful outcome within a short period of time.”
The Perovo plant consists of 440,000 crystalline polysilicon solar panels from four different suppliers connected by over 940 miles of cables and spans 494 acres. Once connected to the Ukrainian electrical grid, the Perovo plant will generate enough peak-load power to cover the electrical needs of the Crimean capital Simferopol’s more than 340,000 inhabitants.
Building The Perovo Solar Power Park over the last seven months also boosted the local economy, creating more than 800 “green” jobs.
While Activ Solar GmbH owns the Zaporozhye Semiconductors Plant, which produces polycrystalline silicon for the photovoltaic energy and semiconductor industries, the solar photovoltaic modules and inverters for the Perovo Solar Power Park were imported from leading Asian and European manufacturers and installed on-site by local workers.
The Perovo Solar Power Park is now the largest photovoltaic solar electrical generating facility in the world in terms of installed capacity. The world’s second largest is Canada's Sarnia with 97 megawatts generating power, Italy's Montalto di Castro, which generates 84.2 megawatts and Germany's Finsterwalde, which produces 80.7 megawatts of electricity.
According to Ertefai, Activ Solar GmbH received funding from Moscow-based VTB Bank OJSC and Russia’s Sberbank, adding that a project of the size of the Perovo Solar Power Park typically costs about $387 million. Equity amounted to 30 percent to 40 percent of the total cost.
Securing the funding was not a simple matter; Ertefair said during an interview, “We have completed one of the largest solar projects in the world while pioneering project financing in the Ukraine. Availability of long-term finance is extremely tight.”
Before Activ Solar GmbH began large scale operations in Ukraine, there was just seven megawatts of installed solar capacity in the country, despite the fact it boasts a favorable tax climate and a feed-in tariff (FIT) of over 51¢ per kilowatt hour. The Perovo Solar Power Park is Activ Solar GmbH’s third Ukrainian project, as in October 2011 the company commissioned the final phase of the 80 megawatt Ohotnikovo Solar Power Station, also in Crimea, which was the largest photovoltaic facility in Central and Eastern Europe at the time it came online. Activ Solar GmbH also built the Rodnikovoe solar power plant in the Crimea with a capacity of 7.5 megawatts.
But as with so many energy projects, especially in the post-Soviet space, the Perovo Solar Power Park carries with it a whiff of scandal.
According to investigative reporters at Kyiv’s Ukrayinska Pravda newspaper, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov's son, Oleksiy Azarov, lives in one of Vienna’s poshest neighborhoods, the eighteenth district, which abuts the famous the famous Vienna Woods. The price of real estate in the eighteenth district is $4,000 - $6,100 euros per square meter.
And who owns Ptzleinsdorfer Strasse, 152-156, house number 3?
L.A.D.A. Holding Anstalt, incorporated in Liechtenstein. The manager of the firm is recorded as Austrain lawyer Reinhard Proksch, who worked on registration of the Activ Solar GmbH firm.
Ukrayinska Pravda’s inquiries on the L.A.D.A. Holding Anstalt company were directed to another Liechtenstein company, P&A Corporate Trust.
P&A Corporate Trust is the ultimate shareholder of Activ Solar GmbH, through which First Vice Prime Minister Andriy Klyuyev designed a business on producing solar panels, funded by the Ukrainian state budget in conjunction with his brother Serhiy.
Klyuyev’s son Bogdan is a business developer manager of Activ Solar GmbH subsidiary Activ Solar LLC (Ukraine).
All in the family.
By. John C.K. Daly of Oilprice.com
Statement from Activ Solar regarding accusations mentioned on the platform oilprice.com on January 2, 2012:
We strongly reject rumours that the construction of our latest solar park in Perovo or the company as such is connected to any kind of malpractice. The company has successfully built up its reputation as a leading and reliable solar company based on international best practices. As we cooperate with a wide range of global investors in our solar park business, we are regularly screened and have to meet international business standards.
Regarding the accusations in detail:
• Andriy Klyuyev is not the ultimate shareholder of our company and none of the owners of the company is a government official.
• Reinhard Proksch as a lawyer is the registered trustee for our holding company P&A Corporate Trust. As a professional he is of course trustee in many other entities or companies.