EWEC awards contract to develop 2GW solar power plant in UAE
July 28, 2020 – A consortium comprising France’s EDF Renewables and China’s JinkoPower has been awarded a contract to develop what it claims to be the world’s largest solar power plant, with 2GW capacity, in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
The consortium is led by Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) and Masdar.
The contract has been awarded by the Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC), which signed the project’s power purchase agreement (PPA) and shareholders’ agreement.
The 2GW Al Dhafra Solar PV Independent Power Producer (IPP) project is planned to be located approximately 35km from Abu Dhabi city.
EWEC said in a statement: “The rigorous procurement process resulted in one of the most cost-competitive tariffs for solar PV energy, set at AED 4.97 fils/kWh (USD 1.35 cents/kWh) on a Levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) basis.”
The Al Dhafra Solar PV project will have the capacity to generate clean electricity required to power approximately 160,000 households across the UAE.
The project is expected to reduce Abu Dhabi’s CO2 emissions by more than 2.4 million metric tonnes per year, once fully commissioned.
EWEC CEO Othman Al Ali said: “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.”
The consortium of TAQA and Masdar will own a 60% interest in the project while the remaining 40% stake will be held by EDF and JinkoPower.
Financial closure for the project is planned in the third quarter of 2020 with initial power scheduled to commence in the first half of 2022. Full power generation is expected to reach by the second half of 2022.
TAQA Group CEO and managing director Jasim Husain Thabet said: “Once fully operational, the plant will increase Abu Dhabi’s solar power capacity to approximately 3.2 GW.”