Abu Dhabi’s Masdar inaugurates 100MW Nur Navoi solar project in Uzbekistan
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Abu Dhabi’s Masdar inaugurates 100MW Nur Navoi solar project in Uzbekistan

Abu Dhabi’s Masdar inaugurates 100MW Nur Navoi solar project in Uzbekistan

By 2030, Uzbekistan aims to deploy 5GW of solar and 3GW of wind power capacity, meeting 25 per cent of its electricity needs

Nur Navoi Solar Project

Abu Dhabi-headquartered renewable energy company Masdar has inaugurated the Nur Navoi Solar Project in Uzbekistan, the first successfully-financed independent power producer (IPP) solar project in the Central Asian country.

The 100-megawatt photovoltaic (PV) plant, Uzbekistan’s first utility-scale solar project, has begun energisation, reported UAE state news agency WAM.

Once fully operational, the plant will produce enough power for 31,000 households and displace around 150,000 tonnes of CO2 each year.

In 2019, Masdar signed agreements with the government of Uzbekistan and JSC National Electric Grid of Uzbekistan (NEGU) to design, finance, build, own and operate the solar plant. Masdar established Nur Navoi Solar FE LLC as the local project company to deliver the PV plant, and to operate and maintain it over a 25-year period.

Nur Navoi is the first Masdar project to begin operations in Uzbekistan, with the company having committed to a number of other solar and wind projects in the country.

In July, Masdar signed agreements to develop two PV projects in the country for a combined capacity of 440 MW. Commercial operation of those projects, which will be located in the Samarkand and Jizzakh regions of Uzbekistan, is expected to start in the first quarter of 2023.

A subsidiary of Mubadala Investment Company, Masdar has also won the tender for another solar project in Uzbekistan, a 457 MW photovoltaic solar power plant that will be built in the Sherabad district of the Surkhandarya province.

Masdar has also agreed to develop, build and operate a 500 MW wind farm in Zarafshan, and in April, the company signed an Implementation Agreement with the Government of Uzbekistan to extend the capacity of the project to up to 1.5 gigawatts (GW), making it the largest project of its kind in Central Asia.

Under its renewable energy program, Uzbekistan aims to deploy 5GW of solar and 3GW of wind power capacity by 2030, as it targets meeting 25 per cent of electricity needs from renewable sources by that year. This month, Uzbekistan’s Energy Ministry said it was considering raising the energy targets to 7GW for solar and 5GW for wind power.

“In the next five years, we plan to increase our economy’s growth rate by 1.5 times, and bring GDP to at least $100bn. Thousands of new industrial enterprises, both medium and large will be launched, and electricity demand is set to reach 100 billion kilowatt-hours – 30 billion more than now. Therefore, we have very big plans for new reforms and projects in the electric power industry. In the next five years, 19 projects worth $6.5bn will be launched to create 11,500 MW of new capacity,” said Shavkat Mirziyoyev, president of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar said that Uzbekistan was “a key strategic investment destination” for the company, and added, “The Nur Navoi Solar Project will play a significant role in Uzbekistan’s energy transition and in achieving its climate change objectives. I look forward to continuing our highly successful collaboration with the Government of Uzbekistan, through our strong portfolio of wind and solar projects with a total capacity of around 2.5 GW in the country.”

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