E-Connection has also participated in the realization of wind energy projects in Armenia.
For two years wind measurements have been executed on five different sites and at each site at two different (hub)heights. Based on the results of these wind measurements and on long term meteorological data available in Armenia it was possible to determine the long term wind resource for these sites.
The wind resource on two of the five sites were deemed sufficient for a profitable operation of wind turbines: Pushkin Pass and Karakhach Pass.
Pushkin Pass is part of the Bazum Ridge mountain range. Twenty seven wind turbines of 750 kW each can be placed at this site. Total capacity of the proposed wind farm is more than 20 MW.
At Karakhach Pass it is possible to install 120 MW wind energy.
There is a great demand for power in Armenia. That is why these projects are a welcome addition to the existing (nuclear and hydro) production capacity.
The project was made possible with the support of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs through the Netherlands Program for co-operation with countries in Central and Eastern Europe (PSO).
The PSO program aims to reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses and to intensify trade relations between these countries and The Netherlands.
For the commissioning, management and operation of a first pilot project E-Connection has, together with an Armenian partner, established a local special purpose company. It was the intention of this joint venture to start with the erection of the pilot wind turbine on Pushkin Pass in the summer of 2002.
Meanwhile preparations were started for the engineering and financing of the 20 MW wind energy project. Contracting for the 20 MW project was scheduled shortly after the completion of the pilot project and after the first operational data became available.
Armenia separated from the Soviet Union a few years ago. The transition to a free market economy is still ongoing. This allows for an independent, private energy producer. Nevertheless the development and commissioning of projects is very complex in this period of transition. After a change in politics the cooperation of the Armenian Ministry of Economic Affairs faltered, especially with respect to the land lease and grid connection. At the end of 2003 E-Connection withdrew from the project and handed over its interests to its Armenian partner and the Armenian government.
Today an Armenian-Iranian joint-venture operates a pilot comprising four 650 kW wind turbines at Pushkin Pass.