Emirates Water & Electricity Company (Ewec) has invited developers to submit expressions of interest (EOIs) for a 2GW photovoltaic (PV) solar plant at a site in the Al-Dhafra area of Abu Dhabi.

Developers have been invited to submit EOIs by 5 March for the independent power project (IPP).

The project will involve the financing, construction, operation and maintenance of the 2GW solar plant under a long-term power-purchase agreement (PPA). The successful developer will form a special-purpose-vehicle (SPV) company in partnership with Ewec. The developer consortium will own up to 40 per cent of the SPV.

MEED reported in August last year that Abu Dhabi was working on securing a site for a major new solar project in the Al-Dhafra area.

The project will be Abu Dhabi’s second major PV solar scheme.

In February 2017, the emirate awarded a contract to a consortium led by Japan’s Marubeni Corporation and China’s Jinko Solar to develop a 1,177MW IPP PV solar plant at Sweihan, the world’s largest single-site solar project.

The Sweihan solar IPP had been tendered with a 350MW capacity, but a number of the developers submitted alternative proposals for much larger-capacity plants. The Marubeni/Jinko Solar consortium submitted the lowest tariff in September 2016 for the 350MW PV Sweihan 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 evaluated weighted levelised electricity costs (EWLEC), which includes adjustments for electrical energy provided, rather than just the weighted levelised electricity costs (WLEC), it was still considered a record tariff at the time it was offered.

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.

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