• Electricity Ministry and National Investment Commission invite interest for four renewables projects
  • Each project will be between 5-10MW
  • Three solar sites have been selected in Diwaniya and Najaf, and a wind site in Missan

Iraq’s Electricity Ministry and the National Investment Commission have invited expressions of interest (EoIs) for four renewables projects.

Each site will have a capacity of between 5MW and 10MW.

Developers have until 14 May to submit preliminary engineering proposals and other documents.

A feasibility study has already been completed for the four sites. The three solar sites are located more than 100 kilometres south of Baghdad. The wind site is in the southeast, close to the Iranian border.

The sites are:

  • Dagharah, Diwaniya Province (solar; 50,000 square metres)
  • Al-Suniyah, Diwaniya Province (solar; 50,000-60,000 square metres)
  • Al-Haideriyah, Najaf Province (solar; 200,000 square metres)
  • Ali al-Gharbi, Missan Province (wind; size yet to be announced)

MEED reported in 2013 that Iraq was planning to develop 400MW of renewables capacity, and had received bids for 15 rural off-grid projects between 1MW and 10MW. The first phase totalled 50MW.

The second phase was to involve grid-connected solar plants, using photovoltaic (PV) solar technology, with 10-40MW capacities. The third stage will involve building concentrated solar power (CSP) schemes with capacities of 10-30MW.

Since then, the jihadist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis) has captured a significant amount of territory in northeastern Iraq. Billions of dollars-worth of projects were put on hold and others were delayed.

“Many developers won’t touch this as it is too risky, but there will always be some daredevil developers,” says Moritz Borgmann, partner at German consultancy Apricum. “One problem is installation and having your personnel on the ground, and then you can’t be sure that the plant itself will last for 20 years. Financing will not be easy.”

Six developers, of which five were international, submitted prequalification documents to develop a conventional 750MW IPP in the Al-Samawa governorate in the south of the country. About 17 groups submitted EoIs for the project.

The ministry is expected to issue a request for proposals (RFP) in May.

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