Russia’s Richest Man Viktor Vekselberg to Open Solar Plant

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Reeling from the dropping price of oil, the Russian economy, or at least Russia’s richest man, Viktor Vekselberg, may find hope in alternative energy.

Bloomberg reports that Vekselberg’s joint venture with Renova and OAO Rosnano, called OOO Hevel, is opening a solar production plant. Despite the fact that in Hebrew, Hevel sounds like it is related to the concept of “waste, ” this project likely will not be a waste of time or resources.

Bloomberg reports the plant is expected to reach a capacity of 97.5 megawatts per year by the end of 2015, and is likely to cost 20 billion rubles or $320 million to put in operation.

At the beginning of the year, there was a reshuffling of Russia’s Richest list, with Vekselberg hitting the top spot and unseating Alisher Usmanov. Vekselberg, who has a Ukranian Jewish father, is the founder of Rosnano and is worth $14.7 billion. He did sustain losses due to Russia’s rough 2014, and his net worth fell by $200 million, although others did much worse. Ushmanov lost 25% of his fortune and Mikhail Friedman saw the value of his assets drop by 18%. In the Jewish tradition, 18 is supposed to be a blessed number, but not for Friedman, apparently.

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