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30MWac PV Plant in Qysylorda region in Kazakhstan


The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD or the Bank) are considering providing financing to the Nomad Solar LLP (the Company) for the construction and operation of a 30MWac solar photovoltaic power plant Nomad (SPP) in Kyzylorda Region. The Project aims to provide renewable electrical energy for the region whose development is hindered by energy deficit. The environmental and social analysis confirmed that the Project is category B in accordance with the Bank’s Environmental and Social Policy, and impacts from the project are expected to be site- specific or short term

The plant will have 120 862 Canadian Solar 196×99×4cm polycrystalline sun-tracking panels that will rotate ±60 horizontally and vertically. They will be connected to 12 Sungrow SG2500 HV-MV (1.5kV) inverting substations. The main HV substation with one 220/34.5kV transformer will be connected to the 220kV national network powerline with a 500m long line. The plant is expected to generate around 66 245 MWh/year. All the equipment will be automatic and connected with SCADA system minimising by this the need for the operators to leave the control room.

30MWac PV Plant in Qysylorda region in Kazakhstan

The main environmental benefit will be in reduction of Kazakhstan contribution to climate change and air pollution. Out of maximum 200 construction staff 150 panels assembling workers are expected to be employed from Zhalagash. The main benefit from the plant operation will be more reliable supply of power and partial reduction of energy deficit in the region. A minor long term benefit may be from encouragement of the Zhalagash school graduates to obtain appropriate education to qualify for an electrician position at the plant. For this, within its Corporate Social Responsibility Program, the Company will review the possibility of grants provision for talented pupils.

A long term benefit will be from making an example of renewable energy source profitability that may encourage other developers to invest in similar projects elsewhere and by this reduce the contribution of traditional fuels to the global warming.

2.1. Water Resources
The Syrdarya River 5,5 km south-west of the SPP site is the only natural source of surface water. and will not be affected. Because the river is heavily used for irrigation, floods are rare and in most of the year the river does not connect to the Aral Sea. The irrigation channels that enframe the SPP site feed the unconfined groundwater raising its level under the solar plant site.

Shallow alkaline (pH=8) groundwater is found at 0.5-3.0m throughout the area in Quaternary fine and dusty sands and loams. As there will be no fuel storage at site, only a small risk of localized ground and groundwater contamination with oil is possible during the motor equipment refueling or if waste oil drums are overturned or punctured during construction. This will be reduced by arranging spills containing trays.

2.2 Landscape and Visual Impact
Whilst the landscape of the site is rural, it does not possess any aesthetic value, is not wild or of a nature that justifies special designation. To a rare by-passer along the western 2m high mesh fence the plant will represent a change from a wasteland with patchy shrub vegetation to a landscape with 2.2m high inclined dark grey plastic panels with white transformers hidden behind them and a substation switchgear in the corner. The powerline towers will project on the existing national network line thus not altering the otherwise rural appearance of the horizon.

2.3. Local Traffic, Road Safety, Noise and Vibration
The delivered by the railway parts will be temporary stored at the railway spur and transported via the Zhalagash streets to the site (Figure 2). The same route will be used for the freight from the west via Aktobe and M-32 two lane highway. For the freight from the east the R-69 two lane road will be used. The streets and roads are unlikely to be affected by the project normal traffic. Yet, transportation of heavy parts like transformers may have some impact on the streets and the plant access road. This road is used by agricultural machinery to access the rice checks, by 3 houses at Akhmet Baza and the new malt processing plant. The field road at the west edge of the SPP land plot will not be used. Currently it cannot be passed by ordinary cars because the high hump on the bridge over the irrigation channel.

The transportation route is subject to proper assessment by a transportation specialist. At this stage it is possible to say that at the route from the west (Aktobe) and the railway spur to the site no obvious obstacles that would need to be altered have been noted and thus the transportation related interruptions in power or water supplies are not envisaged.

30MWac PV Plant in Qysylorda region in Kazakhstan

2.4. Impacts to Existing Infrastructure and Public Services
Around 50 imported skilled construction workers are expected to be hosted in various accommodation in Zhalagash that is expected to comply with the EBRD Minimum Accommodation Requirements. These imported workers will mainly be men, but their presence in Zhalagash and at the isolated site will have no gender related impact. Use of Illegal, forced or child labour will be controlled by the local labour protection inspector and immigration police and thus the associated impact is unlikely. The Company plans to include this prohibition in the construction contract and include relevant checks in the internal audits. The contractors’ health and safety environmental and social performance will be controlled through various plans and procedures and regular audits.

2.5. Consistency with Policy, Law and Other Plans
To date, the project is consistent with the State policy towards promotion of renewable energy sources, legal requirements and other plans for the area of influence. It fulfils the main strategic plan to eliminate regional deficit in energy to allow its further development.

2.6. Social Management Plans, Mitigation and Compensatory Measures
Stakeholders will have access to up-to-date information on the project and grievance mechanism. Stakeholder engagement will be maintained by the Community Liaison Officer (CLO) according to the plan for the project duration. The effectiveness will be monitored and the plan updated as needed. The CLO will ensure that the groups identified as vulnerable to the project impact are evaluated and monitored at least once year and the most appropriate ways of engaging them in the decision making process are used.

A Corporate Social Responsibility Program (CSRP) aimed at helping the local community will be developed and agreed with the Zhalagash Public Governance and town councils. It will use 4 criteria to select the actions that: 1. Fit the allocated for CSRP budget; 2. Do not overlap with the State programs; 3. Have sustainable benefits and 4. Benefit the local community without bias to a particular group or person. An example are grants for Zhakagash school graduates can be introduced to finance obtainment of an appropriate for the need of the plant education. The degree of support will depends on the financial standing of the Company. Although the Company tax contributions will not be retained locally, it will allow the central authorities to allocate larger portion of the State Budget to the town needs proposed by the local council in its Socio-economic Development Program.

Construction will be monitored through weekly checking adherence to the named above plans and mechanisms. During the operation, monitoring will be conducted monthly. Annual reports on environmental and social performance will reflect the plans implementation progress. The reports will be checked against the legislative and the EBRD performance requirements. Monitoring is to be carried out until the loan is repaid.

This Non-Technical Summary and Stakeholder Engagement Plan (SEP) will be published prior to the Project approval by the Bank. The SEP provides a mechanism for the consideration and response to further comments. It describes the Company approach to interacting with the stakeholders, including the general public, and the disclosure of relevant information with respect to the Company operations and the project.

The CLO will ensure that the grievance mechanism is available to all stakeholders, involves an appropriate level of management and addresses concerns promptly, using an understandable and transparent process that provides feedback to those concerned without any retribution. The CLO will register the comments or grievances and control the grievance handling process. Grievances can be left in the mailboxes located on the information board at the rural area and town councils or sent by mail or via e-mail. The EBRD website will also act as a platform to receive comments. This mechanism does not limit the public’s rights to use the conventional routes to place grievances and the available legal system.

Nomad Solar Plant NTS KZ
Nomad Solar Plant SEP KZ

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