Ewec invites expressions of interest for Khazna solar plant

Company is planning to commission “at least two” more 1,500-megawatt solar projects

The Noor Abu Dhabi Solar Power Plant. It supplies Abu Dhabi with clean energy through a long-term power purchase agreement with Ewec. Photo: Ewec
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Emirates Water and Electricity Company (Ewec) is calling for expressions of interest for the development of the Khazna Solar PV (photovoltaic) plant in Abu Dhabi.

The Khazna project, which will be based on the independent power plant (IPP) model, is designed to have a capacity of 1,500 megawatts, Ewec said on Monday.

Once fully operational, the project will generate electricity for about 160,000 homes across the UAE and is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 2.4 million metric tonnes a year.

“Solar energy is an integral pillar of Ewec’s strategy in transitioning our portfolio to a low-carbon system and decarbonising electricity production,” said Othman Al Ali, chief executive of Ewec.

“We continue to invest in developing world-leading renewable projects that significantly accelerate our journey to meeting 60 per cent of Abu Dhabi’s total power demand from renewable and clean energy sources by 2035.”

Ewec also said it was planning to commission “at least two” more 1,500MW solar PV projects to increase its total solar power generating capacity to 7.3 gigawatts by 2030.

In July, Ewec received four bids for the development of the Al Ajban project.

The proposals were from Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power, EDF Renewables, Marubeni Corporation, and a consortium consisting of Jinko Power and JERA.

The Al Ajban project, which should become operational in 2026, would power about 160,000 homes and cut carbon dioxide emissions in Abu Dhabi by up to 2.4 million metric tonnes a year.

The UAE is investing heavily in clean energy and has announced initiatives to reach its 2050 target.

It is developing projects such as the Barakah nuclear plant, a solar plant in the Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi with a total capacity of two gigawatts, and the five-gigawatt Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai.

The Noor Abu Dhabi solar photovoltaic project was commissioned in November 2018 and began commercial operation in April 2019. It is owned and operated by a special-purpose vehicle, Sweihan PV Power Company.

The electricity generated by the plant will is being sold to Ewec under a 25-year power purchase agreement.

In July, the Cabinet approved the updated version of the UAE Energy Strategy 2050 and the development of the National Hydrogen Strategy.

Under the latest objectives, the UAE will invest Dh200 billion ($54 billion) by 2030 to ensure energy demand is met while sustaining economic growth.

Updated: September 18, 2023, 6:10 AM