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Gazprom Neft chooses the Sun, Tatneft chooses the wind

Russian oil companies Gazprom Neft and Tatneft are following the lead of their European colleagues by embarking on projects based on renewable energy sources.

Gazprom Neft has opened the country’s first petrol station operating on solar batteries – located in Yaroslavl region northeast of Moscow and equipped with solar batteries with a total capacity of 5 kW.

The Sun serves as the station’s main energy source during the day – providing annual savings to the company of up to 7 million roubles and covering 5 % of the station’s energy needs, the company said in a statement.

And the use of “green” technology eases the energy burden on the city’s power grid.

The autonomous power system is made up of 16 solar Russian-made modules adapted for local climatic conditions and able to operate in temperatures up to – 35 C (minus 31 Fahrenheit).

Gazprom Neft has also built a 1 MW solar power station for its oil refinery in the Siberian city of Omsk. That station is made up of 2,500 solar panels produced by the German company Hebel and can produce 1.2 million kWh annually  – enough to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 5,000 tonnes.

According to Oleg Belyavsky, the refinery’s general director, energy costs during the refining process have been cut by 50 %.

Tatneft, based in Tatarstan in central Russia, began examining the possible construction of wind generators in the region’s Almetyevsk and Leninogorsk districts. Together with the Kazan State Energy University, it placed wind and solar measuring systems at sites where high wind speeds had been recorded.

“Should construction proceed of a wind farm producing power, the company will have to integrate it into the existing electrical supply system and then provide it for oil facilities,” Yury Chugunov, head of the company’s Systems and Development department, told Tatneft’s corporate newspaper.

The measuring systems include 100-metre-tall towers equipped with gauges measuring wind strength, velocity and direction as well as solar activity at three different heights: 99, 75 and 55 metres. Measurements are to be recorded over the course of a year.

Plans call for four to five generators to be installed at each site. Initial studies put output per generator at 2 to 5 MW – enough to power between 100 to 300 oil rocking machines. Solar panels may also be installed, depending on the results of solar activity recorded by the devices.

Alternative sources will not only help reduce energy costs, but will also enable Tatneft meet its obligations on reducing its carbon footprint.

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