EWEC launches bidding for Abu Dhabi solar plant

The 1,500MW photovoltaic facility will power 160,000 homes and will contribute to the country’s Net Zero by 2050 initiative

Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC) has issued a request for proposal (RFP) to qualified companies and consortia that have expressed an interest in developing the Al Ajban solar photovoltaic (solar PV) independent power project (IPP) in Abu Dhabi.

A specialist in the integrated coordination of planning, purchasing, and supply of water and electricity across the UAE, EWEC said a total of 43 companies and consortia had submitted expressions of interest (EOIs), while 19 of them had made it to the RFP stage.

EWEC had initially invited EOIs for the 1,500MW project in early May 2022.

Al Ajban is said to be a greenfield solar PV plant with a capacity of 1,500MW; it will be able to generate enough electricity to power approximately 160,000 homes across the UAE.

Once commercially operational, it is expected to reduce Abu Dhabi’s CO2 emissions by up to 2.4m metric tonnes per year besides increasing the solar energy capacity on the Abu Dhabi system to approximately 4GW.

According to EWEC, the winning developer/developer consortium will be responsible for the financing, construction, operation, maintenance and ownership of the plant, and associated infrastructure. It will also get to own up to 40% of the plant, while the remaining equity will be held indirectly by the Abu Dhabi government.

Together with the two previous large-scale solar projects tendered by EWEC – Noor Abu Dhabi and Al Dhafra projects – the Al Ajban solar plant will play a pivotal role in enabling the UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative, as well as the UAE Energy Strategy 2050.

In late July 2022, EWEC and Tadweer issued a RFP for an Abu Dhabi Waste-to-Energy IPP.

EWEC CEO, Othman Al Ali remarked, “Increased solar power generation is a key pillar in our strategic plan to fundamentally transition our energy generation to a low carbon system. There has been a strong level of interest expressed in this key project so far, and we look forward to seeing proposals from pre-qualified companies and moving to the next stage of development.”

In late September 2022, EWEC invited developers to submit EOIs for the Abu Dhabi Islands RO IWP.


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