EWEC announces partners to develop world’s largest solar power plant

Solar panel EWEC PixabayThe Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC) has awarded the solar power plant project to a consortium led by Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) and Masdar, with partners EDF and JinkoPower

The project will involve the development of the two gigawatts Al Dhafra solar photovoltaic (PV) independent power producer (IPP) project.

The procurement process resulted in one of the most cost-competitive tariffs for solar PV energy, set at US$ 1.35 cents/kWh on a levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) basis. Upon full commercial operation, the plant is expected to reduce Abu Dhabi’s CO2 emissions by more than 2.4 mmt per year, equivalent to removing approximately 470,000 cars from the road.

Speaking about the milestone, Othman Al Ali, CEO of EWEC, said, “Al Dhafra Solar PV project will have a significant impact on diversifying the approach to our current electricity supply, and drive our strategic plan to further contribute towards the sector’s transformation in water and electricity production, as we develop a low-carbon grid in the UAE.”

Jasim Husain Thabet, group CEO and managing director at ‎TAQA, added, “The Al Dhafra Solar PV plant is a benchmark project for our nation and the global energy sector. The project’s low tariff and utilisation of best-in-class technology further demonstrate the feasibility of utility-scale renewable energy projects that are accelerating our nation’s progress on meeting the ambitious energy objectives outlined in the UAE Energy Strategy 2050. Once fully operational, the plant will increase Abu Dhabi’s solar power capacity to approximately 3.2GW.”

The Al Dhafra Solar PV project is expected to provide approximately 160,000 households across the UAE with electricity. It will be larger than TAQA’s existing 1.2 GW ‘Noor Abu Dhabi’ solar plant, which is currently the world’s largest operational single-project solar PV plant.

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar, explained, “Through the award of the Al Dhafra project, the UAE is affirming once again its determination to lead the global transition to cleaner energy sources, deploying the latest advances in solar power technology at tremendous scale cost efficiently. At Masdar, we are honoured to join EWEC, TAQA, EDF, JinkoPower and the many other prestigious partners involved in this outstanding project.”

Bruno Bensasson, EDF group senior executive vice-president renewable energies and CEO of EDF Renewables, said, “The project will use the latest in crystalline, bifacial solar technology delivering electricity to the highest efficiency and at a world record-low tariff in such irradiation conditions. It will support the UAE’s unique vision and leadership position in the development of a diverse range of renewable energy solutions that will provide sustainable and efficient power for generations to come.”

 

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