The Emirates Water and Electricity Company, EWEC, has announced the award for the world’s largest solar power plant. The project was awarded to a consortium led by Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, TAQA, and Masdar, with partners EDF and JinkoPower, for the development of the 2 GW Al Dhafra Solar Photovoltaic Independent Power Producer project, which will be located approximately 35 kilometres from Abu Dhabi city. The project’s power purchase agreement and shareholders’ agreement were signed with EWEC.
The rigorous procurement process resulted in one of the most cost-competitive tariffs for solar PV energy, set at AED 4.97 fils per kWh, or $1.35 cents per kWh, on a levelised cost of electricity basis. Upon full commercial operation, the plant is expected to reduce Abu Dhabi’s CO2 emissions by more than 2.4 million metric tonnes per year, equivalent to removing approximately 470,000 cars from the road.
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.
The Al Dhafra Solar PV project is expected to provide approximately 160,000 households across the UAE with electricity
Through this project, 60% will be owned by a consortium comprising TAQA and Masdar, while the remaining 40% will be owned by EDF and JinkoPower. 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.
Speaking about the milestone, Othman Al Ali, Chief Executive Officer of EWEC, said: “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.”