12 February, 2019

Abu Dhabi seeks to shortlist bidders for 2 GW solar power project

The emirate already hosts the world’s largest solar PV plant with a capacity of 1.17 GW

Image used for illustrative purpose. Solar panels at sunny power plant.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Solar panels at sunny power plant.


12 February 2019
Abu Dhabi has invited expressions of interest (EOI) to develop a 2,000 megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) Independent Power Project (IPP) in Al Dhafra in the emirate's Western Region, according to a public notice.

Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC) said in a public notice on Tuesday that the project would involve the development, financing, construction, operation, maintenance and ownership of a greenfield solar PV power generation plant together with associated infrastructure.

EWEC is the single buyer of power and water capacity and output in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Power Corporation (ADPC).


The notice said Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) incorporated for the project would be owned 40 percent by the selected developer or developer consortium and the rest of the equity to be held by a combination of ADPC and other government entities.

The Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between the SPV and EWEC would be structured as an energy purchase agreement whereby the procurer will only pay for the net electrical energy supplied by the plant, the notice said.

The deadline for submission of the EOI is 5 March, 2019, it added.

Abu Dhabi already hosts the world's largest solar PV IPP in Sweihan, according to a January 2019 report by state news agency WAM.

The report, quoting Department of Energy Chairman Awaidha Murshed Al Marar, said the 1.17 gigawatt (GW) Noor Abu Dhabi, built at a cost of 3.2 billion UAE dirhams, is expected to become fully operational in April.

The consortium of China's JinkoSolar and Japan's Marubeni had bagged the project in March 2017 with then record-breaking low bid of 2.42 cents per kWh, which was subsequently eclipsed that same year by the 1.786 cents per kWh low bid received for Saudi Arabia's 300MW Sakaka solar PV project, though that project was eventually awarded in 2018 to the second lowest bidder who bid 2.34 cents per kWh.

In a separate report last month, WAM said renewable energy would account for seven percent of Abu Dhabi's energy mix after the start of operations at the Noor Abu Dhabi in April.

(Writing by Syed Ameen Kader; Editing by Anoop Menon)


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