Abu Dhabi Seeks RFP For 1.5 GW Solar Project

Highlights :

  • Expectations are high that the project will attract record low prices
Abu Dhabi Seeks RFP For 1.5 GW Solar Project

Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC) has issued a request for proposals (RFPs) for a 1.5GW solar PV plant in Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi follows a model where RFP’s are offered to firms from a closed pool of previously accepted developers that had bid for the Khazna project in September last year. The Khazna project was also a 1.5 GW greenfield Solar project, managed by EWEC only.

The latest RFP has been issued to 19 developers and consortia, out of 27 companies and consortia that had submitted EOIs for the Khazna project .

Successful bids will involve the companies in the development, financing, construction, operation, maintenance and ownership of the plant and associated infrastructure, which is set to be built in the Al Khazna area of Abu Dhabi. Developers have unto the third quarter of 2024 to submit their bids.

Like previous projects, successful developers or consortium will own up to 40% of the entity, while the remaining equity will be held indirectly by the Abu Dhabi Government. It is widely believed that prices for the project will be lower than bids received through 2023, since module prices in particular have fallen significantly since.

The PPA for the project will be structured as an energy purchase agreement, with EWEC only paying for the net electrical energy supplied by the plant.

Once fully operational, the project, along with the Noor Abu Dhabi, Al Dhafra and Al Ajban solar PV projects, will increase EWEC’s total installed solar PV capacity to 5.5GW.

UAE has a target of 7.3GW of Solar PV generation by 2030, a huge increase over the 1.2 GW plus that exists currently. The Middle East has been in focus recently for the slow progress of renewable projects there, despite an impressive pipeline of projects that has been built up post 2022. In 2023, according to IEA, barely 700 MW of fresh capacity was commissioned, even as expectations were for a much higher 1.2 GW or above.

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Tony Cheu

Tony is a BSc who has shifted from a career in finance to journalism recently. Passionate about the energy transition, he is particularly keen on the moves being made in the OECD countries to contribute to the energy transition.