Today the oil and gas industry in Russia is a leader in its facilities' use of renewable energy sources, particularly the sun. Such active adoption of renewable energy sources above all stems from the desire to optimize domestic energy costs and reduce harmful atmospheric emissions, the main cause of global warming. In 2019, Gazprom Neft became interested in Hevel solar solutions, choosing the Omsk Oil Refinery as the launch pad for implementing solar generation projects at its facilities.
Gazprom Neft is an end-to-end Russian oil company whose main activities are exploration and development of oil and gas fields, oil refining, and production and sale of oil products. The Omsk Oil Refinery is a subsidiary of Gazprom Neft. It is one of Russia’s most cutting-edge oil refineries and one of the largest in the world. The subsidiary’s rated capacity is about 20.5 million tons of oil per year.
As part of the implementation of the company’s sustainable development strategy, it is carrying out a large-scale technological modernization program at its refineries, aimed at improving oil refining efficiency and safety. The new energy policy, which the company approved in 2013, has become a powerful impetus for the use of renewable energy sources at the enterprise. For example, with production increasing by a third in recent years, the Omsk Oil Refinery managed to reduce its environmental impact by 36%. By 2021, the company plans to further reduce its environmental impact by 28%, which was one of the prerequisites for using solar power systems at the oil refinery.
For the Omsk Oil Refinery, Hevel specialists implemented the first solar power plant in the region with a capacity of 1,026 kW. The new SPP is located on 2.5 hectares and consists of 2,700 PV-modules.
The technical solution is comprised of several parts. The project’s largest block is a ground-mounted solar power plant rated at 985.44 kW, implemented using bifacial modules (72 cells) rated at 410 W each as well as one-sided modules rated at 375 W. An additional the rooftop solar power plant with a capacity of 10.2 kW was implemented on one of the Omsk Oil Refinery’s administrative buildings. That system uses 60-cell one-sided photovoltaic modules.
Hevel’s solution, which is fairly unique for Russia at present, was to integrate the solar modules directly into the building’s facade. A similar solar system rated at 20.5 kW was also implemented on another building at the plant. The project was realized using one-sided PV-modules and a special facade structure that can securely fasten the solar power system components.
The final element of this project that deserves special attention is the 10.2 kW ground-mounted solar power plant with solar tracking system. Trackers allow the panels to be oriented as efficiently as possible relative to the sun and, thereby, significantly increase the solar power system’s performance in comparison with fixed placement on stationary metal structures.
The project was completed in just over 6 months. In October 2019, all of the elements of the solar power plant were put into operation.
The solar power plant completely provides all the electricity needed by the complex of administrative buildings at the Omsk Oil Refinery, including the sole services building designed for 2,600 employees.
“As part of the Omsk Oil Refinery’s development plan, we are introducing innovations in every area of activity in order to obtain the best result. This includes production automation, and reliable treatment systems, and, of course, energy. Without doubt, a modern industrial enterprise must not only be efficient, but also environmentally friendly. The Omsk Oil Refinery’s solar power plant project is an excellent example of this approach,” said Oleg Belyavsky, General Director of the Omsk Oil Refinery.
“This solution will significantly reduce the cost of electricity taken from the grid. Additionally, the level of solar activity in Omsk Region and the implementation of a system of non-trivial technical solutions will help achieve the solar power systems’ highest annual output, which, according to preliminary calculations, will amount to 1.2 million kWh. This is equivalent to burning more than 1,800 tons of coal and will avoid the release of more than 5,000 tons of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere from the output of coal-fired power plants,” said Aleksandr Maslov, Head of the Project Sales Department of LLC “Hevel Retail”.
Thanks to the well-coordinated work and high professionalism of the employees of Hevel and PJSC “Gazprom Neft”, it was possible to implement the project in extremely tight timeframes despite its technical complexity.
*The cost of electricity is calculated in the period of SPP operation - 25 years