/24th July 2017, RENEWABLE MARKET WATCHTM/, Ministry of Energy Infrastructure and Natural Resources of Armenia announced last week that 10 companies have been pre-qualified for a tender about 55 MW solar PV power plant located in the Masrik region of Gegharkunik province. The project cost is estimated to be between $40 to $60 million. The tender is being conducted by the Armenia Renewable Resources and Energy Efficiency Fund. Private developers or consortia can bid to design, finance, build, own and operate the 55 MW Masrik-1 Solar PV Power Plant. A special-purpose company to be owned 100% by the successful bidder will have to be incorporated in Armenia.

Among the pre-qualified companies are Risen Energy, Enerparc Projects, TBEA Xinjiang Sunoasis and Eren Renewable Energy. Furthermore, consortiums have been formed between Subsolar Energy Holding and Phelan Energy Group, Korea Electric Power Corporation and Shapoorji Pallonji, UAE Access Infra Central Asia Limited, TSK Electronica, and Fotowatio Renewable Ventures, Acciona and Building Energy — as well as a group led by Sky Power Global.

Deputy Minister Hayk Harutyunyan of the Ministry of Energy Infrastructure and Natural Resources of Armenia reportedly shared with Arka News Agency that about 40 companies have expressed interest in the project. “The tender is scheduled to be completed in the second quarter of 2018,” he said. Harutyunyan believes the tariff for this project is expected to be ‘record low’. The government of Armenia can increase the project's capacity up to 100 MW, depending on investors’ interest.

Armenia has built a viable energy system and now aims to develop less costly energy sources and increase energy diversification. Energy security and energy independence represent two important elements of the national security strategy of Armenia. Hence, the energy sector's development has always been an issue of primary importance within the government’s agenda of economic reform. The country has potential to quintuple the contribution of renewable electricity between 2015 and 2025. It is estimated that Armenia has more than 1,000 MW of technically viable capacity from solar photovoltaic (PV).

Natural climatic conditions in Armenia according to CIS Countries Photovoltaic (Solar PV) Market Outlook 2016 - 2025 are favourable enough for solar energy use. Annual Average value of sunshine hours is 2,500 hours. The average annual flow of solar radiation on a horizontal surface is 1,720 kWh/m2. For comparing purposes, in Central Europe this average value is 1,000kWh/m2, particularly in Poland, Czech Republic, and Slovakia 950- 1,050kWh/m2, in Hungary – 1,200kWh/m2, in Bulgaria - 2,000 kWh/m2.

On the territory of Armenia, actual annual average hours of sunshine (i.e. possible sunshine Hours minus time period during which clouds cover the sun) depends on site of Consideration and varies from 2,000 to 2,800 hours/year. This value constitutes more than 50% of possible sunshine hours. Actual sunshine hours for Yerevan are 2,700, for Martuni - 2,750, for Ashtarak-2,837, for Vanadzor-2,019, for Idjevan-1,827 hours. For Armenia's territory as a whole, actual annual average hours of sunshine are equal to 2,500 hours.

More information about Armenian solar market you may read here: CIS Countries Photovoltaic (Solar PV) Market Outlook 2016 - 2025

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