The Emirates Water and Electricity Company, EWEC, announced the award for the world’s largest solar power plant in Abu Dhabi.
The project was awarded to a consortium led by the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, TAQA, and Masdar, with partners French electric utility company, EDF, and JinkoPower, for the development of the 2 GW Al Dhafra Solar Photovoltaic, PV, Independent Power Producer, IPP, project, which will be located approximately 35 kilometers from the city of Abu Dhabi. The project’s power purchase agreement, PPA, and shareholders’ agreement were signed with EWEC on Sunday, July 26.
‘World’s Largest Power Plant’ Soon to Rise in Abu Dhabi
Othman Al Ali, Chief Executive Officer of EWEC shared: “We are delighted to work with our partners and sign a PPA with a record-low tariff for solar power. We are working to secure long-term energy supply and reinforce solar power’s integral role in meeting current and future energy needs. Combined with key technological advances, the Al Dhafra Solar PV project will have a significant impact on diversifying the approach to our current electricity supply, and drive our strategic plan to further contribute towards the sector’s transformation in water and electricity production, as we develop a low-carbon grid in the UAE,” as shared in a report by WAM.
Commenting on the important milestone, Jasim Husain Thabet, Group CEO and Managing Director at TAQA, noted: “The Al Dhafra Solar PV plant is a benchmark project for our nation and the global energy sector. The project’s low tariff and utilization of best-in-class technology further demonstrate the feasibility of utility-scale renewable energy projects that are accelerating our nation’s progress on meeting the ambitious energy objectives outlined in the UAE Energy Strategy 2050.”
He added, “Once fully operational, the plant will increase Abu Dhabi’s solar power capacity to approximately 3.2 GW.”
Anticipating ahead of its operation, the Al Dhafra Solar PV project is expected to provide approximately 160,000 households across the UAE with electricity.
It will be larger than TAQA’s existing 1.2 GW ‘Noor Abu Dhabi’ solar plant, which is currently the world’s largest operational single-project solar PV plant.
Commenting on this development, Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, shared, “Through the award of the Al Dhafra project, the UAE is affirming once again its determination to lead the global transition to cleaner energy sources, deploying the latest advances in solar power technology at tremendous scale cost-efficiently. At Masdar, we are honored to join EWEC, TAQA, EDF, JinkoPower, and the many other prestigious partners involved in this outstanding project.”
“We are excited to be working with them to realize the world’s largest single-site solar power plant in Abu Dhabi, building on our existing portfolio of world-class projects in the UAE, including Shams in Madinat Zayed in Abu Dhabi, and the third phase of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai,” Al Ramahi added.
The project’s financial closure is expected to occur in Q3 2020, enabling initial power generation in H1 2022 and full generation by H2 2022. Once fully operational, the plant will increase Abu Dhabi’s solar power capacity to approximately 3.2 GW.
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