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Abu Dhabi’s ADPower solar project receives world’s lowest tariff bid

Abu Dhabi’s ADPower solar project receives world’s lowest tariff bid

The 2GW Al Dhafra Solar PV project is slated for completion in the second quarter of 2022

Abu Dhabi Power Corporation (ADPower) has received the world’s lowest tariff bid for its solar power project.

The Al Dhafra Solar PV project has received, from the highest-ranked bidder, the world’s most cost-competitive tariff for solar PV energy, set at Dhs4.97 fils/kWh ($1.35 cents/kWh) on a levelised electricity cost (LEC) basis, a statement said.

ADPower’s subsidiary, Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC), said it received bids from five consortia for the 2GW solar photovoltaic (PV) independent power producer (IPP) project.

Bids were received from China’s Jinko Solar in consortium with EDF, ACWA Power, Engie, Marubeni in consortia with Total Solar and SoftBank Energy along with with Eni, according to reports.

The lowest bid is approximately 44 per cent lower than the tariff set three years ago on the ‘Noor Abu Dhabi’ project – Abu Dhabi’s first large-scale solar PV project and a record bid at the time.

To be located in Abu Dhabi, the Al Dhafra project will have the capacity to power approximately 160,000 households across the UAE with electricity.

It will be almost double the size of the approximately 1.2GW Noor Abu Dhabi solar plant – one of the world’s largest operational solar PV plants. The Dhs3.2bn project began commercial operations in April 2019.

Once operational, the Al Dhafra project will boost Abu Dhabi’s total solar power generation capacity to approximately 3.2GW.

This will reduce the emirate’s CO2 emissions by more than 3.6 million metric tonnes per year – equal to removing around 720,000 cars from the road, the statement added.

Othman Al Ali, CEO of EWEC, said: “The cost-competitiveness of the bids received is truly remarkable – positioning Abu Dhabi as one of the world’s most attractive markets for solar energy development and reinforcing the economic benefits now achievable through renewable technologies.

“Securing such competitive tariffs on our energy projects is fundamental to support economic growth across all sectors in the UAE. We look forward to signing the Power Purchase Agreement and to delivering the project in Q2 2022.”

The tender includes the financing, construction, operation and maintenance of the solar plant, including installation of solar PV modules, inverters, connection to the transmission network and associated facilities.

Jasim Husain Thabet, CEO and managing director of ADPower, added: “The water and electricity sector intends to play a critical role in meeting the target of having 50 per cent of Abu Dhabi’s energy needs served from renewable and clean energy sources by 2030, as well as the reduction of the generation system’s average carbon intensity by more than 70 per cent, compared to 2015.

“The Al Dhafra solar PV project will play a critical role in delivering these ambitions.”

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