ABU DHABI, 19th September, 2016 (WAM) The Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA) and Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Company (ADWEC) announced on Monday that six pre-qualified bidder consortia has submitted proposals for the Solar PV Independent Power Project at Sweihan, in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, following five months of bid preparations.

The project will comprise, inter alia, the development, financing, construction, operation, maintenance and ownership of a greenfield renewable power generation plant of minimum 350MW power generation capacity, together with associated infrastructure. The plant will be located in the Eastern Region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, near the town of Sweihan, some 120km east of the city of Abu Dhabi, and in the vicinity of an existing high voltage substation, to which it will be connected.

The project will be structured as an independent power project and will draw upon the contractual templates of the successful ADWEA I(W)PP programme. The expected commercial operation date of the project is scheduled for the 1st quarter of 2019.

The Chairman of the Energy Authority, Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Hamed, expressed the support of the authority for the project which is in accordance with Abu Dhabis plans for energy diversification and renewable energy growth.

The bid opening ceremony, which was held at ADWEAs offices in Abu Dhabi, was attended by ADWEAs Chairman of the Board Abdulla Al Ahbabi, ADWEAs Director-General Faris Obaid Al Dhaheri, and ADWECs Managing Director Mohammed bin Jarsh, as well as senior representatives from the power and water sector, including Abu Dhabi Transmission & Despatch Company (TRANSCO), Abu Dhabi Distribution Company (ADDC), the I(W)PP companies and the Regulation and Supervision Bureau, in addition to ADWEA/ADWECs advisors Akin Gump (legal), Fichtner (technical) and Alderbrook (financial).

Following the ceremony, ADWEAs Chairman of the Board stated, "Todays opening of proposals from the pre-qualified consortia for the Sweihan Project has been eagerly awaited, not only by ADWEA, ADWEC and other interested stakeholders in Abu Dhabi and the UAE but also by the global Solar PV community, and we are delighted that extremely competitive bids have been received to support Abu Dhabis achievements in sustainability and energy diversification.

"The bid submission is the product of the vision and leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, and the directions of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, and overseen by the Abu Dhabi Government."ADWEAs Director-General said, "We are grateful for the attention and hard work undertaken by the bidders which culminated in the submission of very competitive bids. The time has now come for ADWEA and ADWEC to commence the detailed evaluation of the bids in a manner that continues to maintain impartiality and transparency.""This project will enable the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to secure electric power at competitive prices, and enable the power and water sector to reduce its reliance on the consumption of gas," ADWECs Managing Director indicated.

Six bids were submitted with Weighted Levelised Cost of Electricity (Weighted LEC) ranging from 8.888 fils/kWh to 13.349 fils/kWh, being one of the relevant evaluation criteria. The lowest Weighted LEC submitted equates to 2.42 US cents/kWh and represents one of the most competitive prices seen to date in the global Solar PV industry.

The innovative tariff structure that underpins the bids is weighted towards production in the summer months. In this way bidders were encouraged to design a plant that maximises energy production during that period, at the time of peak electricity demand in Abu Dhabi, thereby enabling ADWEC to benefit the most from fuel savings.

Detailed evaluation of bids will now take place with the signing of the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the successful bidder scheduled for the first quarter of 2017.

Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2016.