Ewec expands remit of co-ordinating water and electricity production operations

Load despatch centre function transferred from Abu Dhabi Transmission & Despatch Company to Ewec

Ewec is developing a two-gigawatt solar power plant in the Abu Dhabi desert. Wam

Emirates Waste and Electricity Company said it significantly expanded its remit for co-ordinating water and electricity production operations in Abu Dhabi and is positioned to develop into an independent systems operator.

This comes after the load despatch centre function was transferred from Abu Dhabi Transmission & Despatch Company (Transco) to Ewec, it said in a statement on Saturday.

"Ewec is now responsible for short and long-term operation and planning of water and electricity production, plus procurement of capacities and system despatch services, in addition to other sector services," said Othman Al Ali, chief executive of Ewec. "In this role, we can fully leverage a co-ordinated approach to operational planning."

The UAE announced plans to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 before Cop26, which was held in Glasgow, Scotland. The country in 2023 will also become the first Gulf Arab nation to host the Cop summit.

Ewec has overseen the development of several key Abu Dhabi energy projects, including the world’s current largest single-site solar power plant, Noor Abu Dhabi, the Al Dhafra PV solar plant currently under construction and the world’s largest reverse osmosis (RO) water desalination plant, Taweelah RO, which delivered its first desalinated seawater into the Abu Dhabi network in early December 2021.

With this new function, Ewec will be responsible for the scheduling and despatch of water and electricity from independent water and power producers, which will continue to be carried through the transmission networks operated by Transco, a subsidiary of Taqa Group.

Ewec will also lead operational planning and studies that support real-time operations and balancing of supply and demand, it said.

The new load despatch function is in addition to Ewec's existing role as the sole procurer of water and electricity in Abu Dhabi and beyond, with the mandate to ensure the supply of water and power to consumers.

"Ewec is on a strategic path to advance integration within Abu Dhabi’s energy sector to increase optimisation, improve efficiencies, and diversify the energy production portfolio, with a focus on sustainability," Mr Al Ali said.

"Along with our partners in the energy sector we have spent 18 months planning and progressing the smooth transition of the load despatch centre function from Transco to Ewec, transferring operational systems to Ewec with no interruption to services."

The transfer of the new function from Transco to Ewec will ensure that the Abu Dhabi government continues to have control and visibility over the load control and despatch operations of the power generation and water desalination plants, the statement said.

It will also ensure the delivery of these services through the transmission and distribution networks including those owned and operated by Transco, Abu Dhabi Distribution Company and Al Ain Distribution Company, respectively, it said.

"We are determined to facilitate a more sustainable energy future by providing safe, sustainable, economic and reliable transmission networks that connect generation companies to distribution companies, as well as other customers," Afif Al Yafei, chief executive of Transco, said.

Updated: January 1st 2022, 3:03 PM