Abu Dhabi renewable energy company Masdar said on Tuesday it will develop two photovoltaic power projects in Uzbekistan, expanding its footprint in the country.
The Abu Dhabi clean energy company will develop, build and operate the plants on a public-private partnership basis. The projects will have a combined capacity of 440 megawatts.
The solar plants will be located in the Samarkand and Jizzakh regions of Uzbekistan and are expected to start commercial operations by the first quarter of 2023.
“Uzbekistan is a key strategic investment destination for Masdar as the government continues to take a leadership role in clean energy projects in the region, and accelerate the nation’s energy transition," Masdar's chief executive Mohamed Al Ramahi said.
"Masdar is proud to support Uzbekistan’s decarbonisation strategy through our strong portfolio of wind and solar projects in the country.”
Masdar was selected for both projects based on a competitive tender, Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Energy said.
Uzbekistan has become a hotspot for renewable energy investment from key Middle East players. The country aims to deploy 5 gigawatts of solar and 3 gigawatts of wind power capacity by 2030, as it targets meeting 25 per cent of electricity needs from renewable sources by that year.
Masdar, which is owned by Mubadala Investment Company, currently operates in more than 30 countries with a total investment of about $19.9 billion. It has won several tenders to provide clean energy in Uzbekistan, including one for another solar project – a 457MW photovoltaic power plant – in the Sherabad district of the Surkhandarya province in Uzbekistan.
Last year, Masdar announced the financial close on the 100MW Nur Navoi Solar Project – Uzbekistan’s first successfully financed independent power producer (IPP) solar project. The Abu Dhabi company also struck a deal to develop, build and operate a 500MW wind farm in Zarafshan. In April, the company signed an agreement with Uzbekistan's government to extend the capacity of the project to up to 1.5 gigawatts, making it the largest in Central Asia.
"These projects are key components in our ambitious strategy to develop environmentally friendly renewable sources of energy to meet our growing electricity demand,” Alisher Sultanov, Uzbekistan's Minister of Energy said on Tuesday.