Uzbekistan’s First utility Scale Solar Plant of 100 MW Commissioned

Highlights :

  • The project marks the largest utility scale solar plant in Central Asia
  • Central Asian Republics, including Uzbekistan, have traditionally been oil and gas driven, and the shift to renewable energy is vital in the region.

Uzbekistan, the central asian republic has inaugurated its first utility-scale solar plant, a 100MW site developed by the UAE’s Masdar.

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Agreements to build the project had been signed between Masdar and the government of Uzbekistan and JSC National Electric Grid of Uzbekistan (NEGU) in 2019. The agreements covered all aspects of design, finance, build, own and operations of the solar plant. Masdar established Nur Navoi Solar FE LLC as the local project company to deliver the PV plant, and to operate and maintain it over a 25-year period.

For Masdar, the commissioning of the 100MW Nur Navoi solar project is a key milestone, as the EPC developer has made a major push for projects in the central asian region. This is thanks to its success with tenders in the region, where it has repeatedly won over competition. Masdar has a particularly strong presence in Uzbekistan with 900 MW of solar projects due in the country, comprising 457MW of PV in Uzbekistan’s Sherabad district in Surkhandarya province and a further two projects, with a combined capacity of 440MW, in the Samarkand and Jizzakh regions.

Uzbekistan, like many other countries that have come late to the solar party, has been pushing to catch up, with a declared goal of 7 GW of solar capacity by 2030. Most of the countries in the region depend on gas, usually sourced from Russia, for their energy needs.

In April this year, Masdar also signed an Implementation Agreement with the Government of Uzbekistan to extend the capacity of the 500 MW Zarafshan wind energy project to up to 1.5 gigawatts (GW), which will make it the largest project of its kind in Central Asia.

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Prasanna Singh

Prasanna has been a media professional for over 20 years. He is the Group Editor of Saur Energy International

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