TAQA, Masdar-led 2 GW Al Dhafra Solar Project Achieves Financial Close

TAQA and Masdar – alongside partners EDF and JinkoPower – have announced the successful financial closing of the Al Dhafra Solar project.

The Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) and Masdar – alongside partners EDF and JinkoPower – have announced the successful financial closing of the Al Dhafra Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Independent Power Producer (IPP) project.

The record-breaking project, located approximately 35 kilometers from Abu Dhabi city, will have a capacity of 2 gigawatts (GW) and supply power to the plant’s off-taker, Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC). Once operational, the Al Dhafra Solar PV IPP will be the world’s largest single-site solar power plant, using approximately 3.5 million solar panels to generate enough electricity for approximately 160,000 homes across the UAE.

Jasim Husain Thabet, Group CEO and Managing Director at TAQA, said “the financial closing of the world’s largest solar plant marks the beginning of an important chapter for this IPP project, for TAQA Group and for the UAE as we continue to deliver on our bold clean energy ambitions while demonstrating the commercial and operational viability of utility-scale single-site solar projects. Through this project and many others – such as Noor Abu Dhabi, currently, the largest operational solar power plant – TAQA has established itself as a trusted integrated utilities partner that is leading the sector’s transformation in the UAE and beyond. We have an expanded portfolio of power and water assets that we will grow further through a disciplined approach, adding value for our shareholders and delivering a diverse supply of energy for our stakeholders and the communities in which we operate.”

Financing for the project will come from seven international lenders, following the signing of the power purchase agreement in July. Earlier in the year, the competitive bidding for the project led to one of the most competitive tariffs for solar power, set at AED 4.97 fils/kWh (USD 1.35 cents/kWh or Rs 0.99/kWh).

The plant will deploy the latest in crystalline, bifacial solar technology, which will deliver electricity to the highest efficiency enabling the plant to provide more power by using both the front and backside of the panel.

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar (Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company), said “we congratulate all the partners on achieving the financial close for this monumental solar power project, which again underlines the growing appeal of renewable energy from both a commercial and environmental perspective, and the attractiveness of the United Arab Emirates as a location for the world’s largest and most cost-competitive renewable energy projects. Achieving this milestone is a significant step forward in the development of the Al Dhafra project and the realisation of the UAE leadership’s vision for a diversified power sector.”

The Al Dhafra project will be 60 percent owned by TAQA and Masdar, while the remaining 40 percent will be owned by EDF and JinkoPower.

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Ayush Verma

Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.

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