Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (Adwea) is preparing to award the contract for the world’s largest photovoltaic (PV) solar plant.

According to sources close to the scheme, the consortium led by Japan’s Marubeni Corporation and China’s Jinko Solar, will be awarded a contract to develop a plant of between 930MW and 1.1GW. This would eclipse the recently awarded contract for the 800MW third phase of the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid solar park in neighbouring emirate Dubai.

The Marubeni/Jinko Solar consortium submitted the lowest tariff in September 2016 for the 350MW PV Sweihan independent power plant (IPP). The tariff of 2.42$c/kWh (cents a kilowatt hour) set the world record for an unsubsidised PV solar project. While the actual tariff will be higher as the price will be based on an evaluated weighted levelised electricity costs (EWLEC), which included adjustments for electrical energy provided, rather than just the weighted levelised electricity costs (WLEC), it was still considered to be a record tariff at the time it was offered.

While the project was tendered as a 350MW scheme, 350MW was the minimum capacity that was required to be submitted, with bidders able to offer to build a much larger plant.

Germany’s Fichtner is the technical adviser for the scheme. US-based Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld is the legal adviser and the UK’s Alderbrook Finance is providing financial advisory services.

The project forms part of the UAE’s target for 50 per cent of energy to come from clean resources by 2050, of which 44 per cent will come from renewable energy.