Armenia’s second major solar power plant was inaugurated on Tuesday in the presence of Prime Minister Karen Karapetian and other senior officials.
The 1-megawatt plant was built in Talin, a town 70 kilometers northwest of Yerevan, as part of a $1 million investment projected co-funded by a group of Armenian entrepreneurs and the German government.
One of the local investors, Hayk Chobanian, said the facility, already connected to the national power grid, can meet the energy needs of about 400 households. He described its launch as the start of “a parade of solar plants” that will increasingly spring up in Armenia.
“Our country’s [solar energy] potential is great and I think that in the coming years we will introduce hundreds of megawatts of solar power capacity,” Chobanian told reporters.
Deputy Energy Minister Hayk Harutiunian, who also attended the opening ceremony, reaffirmed the Armenian government’s declared commitment to greater use of renewable sources of energy in the country. He said nine more small solar plants are now under construction.
Armenia’s first major solar plant with a 0.5-megawatt capacity went on stream in late September. It was built by a company controlled by Samvel Karapetian, a Russian-Armenian billionaire businessman increasingly investing in the Armenian energy sector. A company representative said the “pilot project” could be a prelude to the construction of a much bigger facility of its kind that would also be financed by Karapetian.
In addition, the government is expected to call soon an international tender for the construction of a separate 55-megawatt solar plant.
Solar and wind power currently make up only a tiny share of electricity produced in Armenia.