UAE Focus

Noor Abu Dhabi solar project ... Ewec plans to double capacity with a new 2,000 MW plant.

Noor Abu Dhabi solar project ... Ewec plans to double capacity with a new 2,000 MW plant.

Ewec invites bids for giant solar plant

August 2019

Emirates Water and Electricity Company (Ewec), the UAE’s leading procurer of water and electricity, has issued a tender for the construction and development of a new 2,000 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power project to be located at Al Dhafra, Abu Dhabi.

The new project forms part of a series of projects approved by the higher Committee for the Water and Electricity Sector in Abu Dhabi.

Once completed, the project site will cover an area of approximately 20 sq km, almost doubling the capacity of the current largest operational single-site solar photovoltaic plant in the world, Noor Abu Dhabi, said Ewec.

The new project is expected to achieve commercial operations during the first quarter of 2022, upon which it would take Abu Dhabi solar capacity to 3,200 MW. This follows the receipt by Ewec earlier this year of 48 expression of interests (EOIs) from leading international and local developers, said the developer.

In line with the successful independent water and power producer (IWPP) programme launched by the Abu Dhabi government in 1998, successful bidders would hold a 40 per cent equity participation in the project, with the remaining stake held by local entities, it added.

Commenting on the move, CEO Othman Al Ali said: “The new solar project in Al Dhafra marks yet another milestone in Ewec’s commitment to the UAE Energy Strategy 2050, which aims to increase the contribution of clean energy as part the country’s overall energy mix.”

“The strong interest expressed so far illustrates the attractive business model and reaffirms the strong case for investment in the UAE’s renewable energy sector,” he added.

The Dh3.2-billion ($871 million) Noor Abu Dhabi solar plant, located at Sweihan region of the emirate, is a joint venture between the Abu Dhabi Power Corporation and a consortium of Japan’s Marubeni Corp and China’s Jinko Solar Holding. The project, with a capacity of 1,177 MW began commercial operation at the end of June.

Providing enough capacity to cover the demand of 90,000 people, the plant features more than 3.2 million solar panels, installed across an 8-sq-km site. Beyond size, Noor Abu Dhabi broke another record at the time of bid submission, attracting the world’s most competitive tariff of 8.888 fils/kilowatt hour, it added.  

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