Abu Dhabi receives bids for world’s largest solar plant

The solar plant can power up to 110,000 households across the UAE, and will lift Abu Dhabi’s solar power capacity to around 3.2 GW

The Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC) has received bids for its 2 GW solar PV Independent Power Producer (IPP) project, to be located in the Al Dafra region in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

The project tender included the financing, construction, operation and maintenance of the solar plant, including installation of solar PV modules, inverters, connection to the transmission network and associated facilities.

The project will cover an area of 20 sq. km and will be the world’s largest solar PV IPP project, once completed. It can power up to 110,000 households across the UAE, and will lift Abu Dhabi’s solar power capacity to around 3.2 GW. This is expected to reduce Abu Dhabi’s CO2 emissions by more than 1.6 million metric tons per year – the same as removing around 330,000 cars from the road.

Othman Al Ali, chief executive officer of EWEC, said: “We are delighted to have received positive responses from such internationally recognised entities, demonstrating the utmost confidence in Abu Dhabi’s competitive economy.”

“This year, EWEC has already delivered the world’s current largest single-site solar PV project, Noor Abu Dhabi, on time and on budget. We continue to deliver on our ambitious sustainable generation program, and this new plant is integral to our strategic plan to deliver on the clean energy mix outlined by the UAE Energy Strategy 2050.”

According to the utilities company, as part of the tendering process issued in July 2019, an optional bid for significant battery storage was allowed and has resulted in substantial market interest. This added option provided an opportunity to build on the existing 108 MW battery capacity that can last for up to six hours, already operational in Abu Dhabi’s current electricity storage system, it added.

EWEC received 48 expressions of interest from potential bidders for the plant earlier this year, a testament of the trust that international investors have in Abu Dhabi. Out of these expressions of interest, 24 qualified to bid for the project after submitting Statements of Qualification.

EWEC said that its team will now start the detailed technical evaluation followed by the commercial evaluation process to select the best proposal, with the award expected to be announced by Q1, 2020.

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