The vast country of Mongolia is one of the least densely populated countries in the world. One of the biggest challenges it faces is power generation.
Currently, the country relies on its soviet-era fleet of coal-fired power stations to meet power requirements. However, Mongolia is making great strides in the development of its renewable power generation sector, particularly wind energy, with the country’s sweeping deserts the ideal location for wind turbine generators.
The challenge, however, is climate; winter temperatures often tumble to -40ºC and summers often exceed 45ºC.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has been involved in the Mongolian wind energy industry since 2009. With a capacity of 50 MW, the Salkhit wind farm near the capital, Ulaanbaatar, was constructed with financing of USD47.5 mn from the EBRD, an amount matched by FMO, the Dutch development bank. The challenges faced were enormous: working out how to build and operate a wind farm in extreme temperatures, transporting the wind turbines over 200 km of unpaved road, and creating the commercial and legal conditions for an unprecedented venture in the country.
Raising power capacity
Mongolia has now set the target of raising the installed capacity of its renewable energy sector from 10 percent today up to 20 percent by 2020, and 30 percent by 2030. The EBRD signed an agreement to finance the 50 MW Tsetsii wind farm in the south of the country last year. Tsetsii aims to be operational by the end of 2017.
A third project, the Sainshand wind farm, with a 55 MW capacity and located southeast of Ulaanbaatar, was approved by the EBRD board in June 2017. Engie will build and operate the development, which will comprise 25 Vestas turbines, located in the Gobi Desert.
CapProCon reported last week that Siemens Gamesa will supply and commission 150 G114-2.0 MW turbines for the Xilinhot wind farm project, and service them under a long-term operations and maintenance agreement. The wind farm is located in Inner Mongolia.