EDF wins Al Ajban solar contract

15 February 2024
EDF has won three solar IPP contracts in the GCC over the past 12 months


Register for MEED's guest programme 

Emirates Water & Electricity Company (Ewec) is understood to have awarded a contract to develop Abu Dhabi’s third utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) independent power project (IPP).

A team led by French utility developer EDF Renewables,and includes South Korea's Korea Western Power Company (Kowepo) won the 1,500MW Al Ajban solar PV IPP contract, industry sources tell MEED.

It is the third major contract win in the GCC by the French utility developer and investor over the past 12 months. The other two contracts include the 500MW Manah 1 solar IPP in Oman and the 1,100MW Hinakiyah solar IPP project in Saudi Arabia. 

The EDF-led team submitted the lowest levelised electricity cost of 5.1921 fils a kilowatt-hour (kWh) or about 1.413 $cents/kWh for the Al Ajban solar PV IPP contract, as MEED reported in July 2023.

Japan’s Marubeni submitted the second-lowest bid of 5.3577 fils/kWh.

Ewec requested proposals for the contract in January 2023 and received bids in late June.

It qualified 19 companies that could bid for the contract in September 2022.

Delivering goals

The Al-Ajban project, similar to the 1,584MW Al-Dhafra solar IPP – which was inaugurated in November – and the operational 935MW Noor Abu Dhabi plant, supports the UAE Energy Strategy 2050 and the UAE Net-Zero by 2050 strategic initiative.

The Al-Ajban solar PV scheme is expected to generate enough electricity for about 160,000 homes across the UAE and to reduce Abu Dhabi’s carbon dioxide emissions by more than 2.4 million metric tonnes annually.

Ewec aims to install 16GW of solar PV capacity by 2036, the firm’s executive director for strategy and planning, Bruce Smith, said in March last year.

The plan implies procuring about 1.5GW of capacity annually over the next 10 years.

Over the intervening period ending in 2030, Ewec envisages having an additional 5GW of solar capacity to reach a total solar installed capacity of 7.3GW by 2030.

Smith said Ewec expects its first battery energy storage system to come online in the late 2020s to enable optimum use of renewable energy captured during daytime at times when the solar PV fleets do not produce energy.

The UAE published its updated national energy strategy in July last year, which included a plan to triple the nationwide renewable energy capacity to 19GW by 2030.

Photo: Ewec/Al-Dhafra solar IPP

A MEED Subscription...

Subscribe or upgrade your current MEED.com package to support your strategic planning with the MENA region’s best source of business information. Proceed to our online shop below to find out more about the features in each package.