May 26, 2022

UAE: New 1,500MW solar plant in Abu Dhabi to power 160,000 homes

A new solar plant with 1,500-megawatt (MW) capacity will be developed in Abu Dhabi, a top official said during the World Utilities Congress held in the Capital.

Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC) – a leading company in the integrated coordination of planning, purchasing and supply of water and electricity across the UAE – invited developers or developer consortiums to submit an expression of interest (EOI) for the development of a new solar photovoltaic (PV) independent power project to be located in the Ajban area of Abu Dhabi.

Al Ajban Solar PV will be the third world-leading large-scale utility solar PV project to be developed by EWEC after the successful closings of Noor Abu Dhabi and Al Dhafra Solar PV. It will provide 1,500 MW of power generation capacity and play a pivotal role in supporting the UAE’s sustainability goals. It will generate enough electricity for approximately 160,000 homes across the UAE. Once commercially operational, it is expected to reduce Abu Dhabi’s CO2 emissions by more than 2.4 million tonnes per year.

“EWEC is at the forefront of developing world leading solar power projects. Our strategic investments in solar power have seen us develop Noor Abu Dhabi, the current world’s largest single-site solar power plant, and Al Dhafra Solar PV, which will be the new world’s largest single-site solar power plant once commercially operational,” Othman Al Ali, chief executive officer, EWEC, said.

“With Al Ajban Solar PV, which will be similar in size and capacity output to Al Dhafra Solar PV, Abu Dhabi and the UAE will have the three largest, world leading solar power plants, increasing the diversification of our energy production portfolio, and significantly advancing decarbonisation of the energy sector. We are delighted to invite expressions of interest from developer or developer consortiums for the Al Ajban Solar PV project.”

The project will involve the development, financing, construction, operation, maintenance and ownership of the plant, and associated infrastructure. The successful developer or developer consortium will own up to 40 per cent of the entity while the remaining equity will be held indirectly by the Abu Dhabi Government.

The developer will enter into a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with EWEC, the single buyer of power and water capacity and output in Abu Dhabi.

The PPA will be structured as an energy purchase agreement whereby EWEC will pay only for the net electrical energy supplied by the plant.

Developers or developer consortiums can submit an EOI by May 27, 2022, at 12 noon for the first stage of the tender process.

Following review of the EOIs, EWEC will issue the request for qualifications (RFQ) to proceed to the next stage. The RFQ will provide additional details regarding the project, pre-qualification criteria and the bidding process.