Saudi Arabian utility developer ACWA Power has signed three power purchase agreements (PPA) and investment agreements with Uzbekistan to develop solar and battery storage projects with a combined value of $2.5 billion that will potentially help offset 16 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year in the Central Asian republic.

The agreements, signed with Uzbekistan’s National Electric Grid of Uzbekistan (NEGU) and Ministry of Investment, Industry and Trade on Sunday, include the development of three solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in Tashkent and Samarkand and three Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) in Tashkent, Bukhara and Samarkand, with a total capacity of 1.4 GW of additional renewable energy and 1.5 GWh of additional battery storage capacity.

The Saudi utility developer, partly owned by the sovereign Public Investment Fund, said in a statement on Monday that the Tashkent projects will include a 400 MW PV plant and 500 MWh BESS, while two 500 MW PV projects each and a 500 MWh BESS will be developed in Samarkand. Another 500 MWh BESS will be located in Bukhara, and the project will include overhead transmission lines to help dispatch power to the grid.

Uzbekistan has set targets to generate 35%, or 15,000 MW, of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, with 10,000 MW coming from solar and 5,000 MW from wind power.

Mohammad Abunayyan, Chairman of ACWA Power, said: “As the driver of the largest BESS projects in the region, we are fully equipped to stabilise the grid and accelerate Uzbekistan's renewable energy agenda. With our total investment commitments of $7.5 billion in energy projects, we are determined to remain a key partner in achieving Uzbekistan's energy diversification goals."

In August 2022, ACWA Power signed an Investment Cooperation Agreement Uzbekistan committing $10 billion of new investments in the next five years above the already committed $5 billion.

The Tashkent, Samarkand and Bukhara PV and BESS projects will contribute to $2.5 billion of new investments as part of the targeted $10 billion investment.

The company also recently signed an extensive heads of terms agreements to develop a green hydrogen facility and a green ammonia pilot project in the Republic.

ACWA Power has five ongoing projects in Uzbekistan, including four wind projects and a combined gas cycle turbine facility. Uzbekistan is the second largest in terms of value for the company after its home market of Saudi Arabia.

(Reporting by Brinda Darasha; editing by Seban Scaria)