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Kness Group launches first major Ukrainian solar panel production plant in Vinnytsia

Ukrainian energy company Kness Group launched Ukraine’s first large-scale solar panel production plant on Feb. 5 in Vinnytsia, some 260 kilometers southwest of Kyiv.

The company finished the first stage of its plant, which will have an annual production capacity of 200 megawatts – enough to supply 150,000 apartments with electricity. The company invested 5 million euros into the plant’s construction and plans to double the plant’s capacity by the end of 2019.

“Starting from today, we can manufacture one hundred percent Ukrainian-made components for solar power plants,” said Kness Group’s CEO Serhiy Shakalov, according to Ukrinform state news agency.

“I believe that this is not only an important step in the development of our company but also for the whole country.”

The plant now employs 120 people and will produce solar panels for domestic, commercial and industrial solar power plants. The average salary of employees was declared to be Hr 15,000, or about $540. The average wage in Ukraine in December was about Hr 10,500 ($380) per month, according to the State Statistics Service.

Another 50 specialists will be involved in technical development, logistics, sales and distribution, the report reads.

According to Valerii Korovii, head of the Vinnytsia Oblast State Administration, the construction of a new high-tech production plant on the recently abandoned territory of bankrupt enterprises is very significant for the region.

“Five years ago, it hard even to imagine that today we would witness the realization of this unique new project,” said Korovii, Ukrinform reported.

Ukraine’s renewables market has been on the rise since 2014, as the country has one of the world’s highest green tariffs – feed-in tariffs that incentivize companies to invest in renewable energy.