In Russia’s Extreme North, mobile operator MTS bets on wind power
5 Mar '13
MTS, a leading Russian mobile operator, has plans to launch in Russia’s Arctic region of Yamal in late 2013 a network of wind-powered mobile base stations, its first in the area, reports Pronedra.ru, an alternative energy focused website, citing a source in MTS.
The mechanical energy of local winds is expected to generate electricity which will be stored and then used to power the base stations. MTS is reportedly confident that storage batteries will have enough capacity to support uninterrupted operation of the stations for eight hours even in dead calm.
The first set of such wind-driven stations are planned for an area between the Yamal Peninsula’s two major cities, Salekhard and Nadym. There will be three 10kW wind generators on each base station. The mobile operator hopes that the modern equipment it has chosen for the project will allow the stations to operate in an extreme temperature range between minus 50 and plus 50 degrees Celsius.
Natural gas rich Yamal (which in the language of its indigenous inhabitants, the Nenets, means “End of the World”) is located in Northwest Siberia on the Arctic’s Kara Sea shore. The average wind speed there is 4.9 meters per second, with gusts reaching a speed of 30 meters a second. In such environments, the use of wind generators is assumed to be most cost-effective.
MTS is reported to be developing alternative energy based projects in other regions as well. For example, wind generators are used in the north-western regions of European Russia, in Russia’s Far East, and also on the Crimean Peninsula in neighboring Ukraine. In Russia’s South, MTS installs solar-powered systems, while in the Chekhov district outside Moscow it runs a set of hydrogen generators.