The Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC), a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Power Corporation (ADPower) and a leading company in the integrated coordination of planning, purchasing and supply of water and electricity in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and beyond, has received bids for its 2 GW Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Independent Power Producer (IPP) project, to be located in the Al Dhafra region in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
The project tender included 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.
Expected to cover an area of 20 square kilometers, the plant will be the world’s largest solar PV IPP project, and provide up to 110,000 households across the UAE with electricity. It will be almost double the size of EWEC’s approximately 1.2 GW ‘Noor Abu Dhabi’ solar plant - the current largest operational single-project solar PV plant in the world, which commenced its commercial operation back in April 2019.
Once operational, the plant will lift Abu Dhabi’s solar power capacity to around 3.2 GW, further reducing the emirate’s CO2 emissions by more than 1.6 million metric tonnes per year - equal to removing around 330,000 cars from the road - improving efficiency and driving sustainability, while catering for the growth in demand across the UAE.
As part of the tendering process issued in July 2019, an optional bid for significant battery storage was allowed and has resulted in substantial market interest. This added option provided an opportunity to build on the existing 108 MW battery capacity that can last for up to six hours, already operational in Abu Dhabi’s current electricity storage system.
Othman Al Ali, Chief Executive Officer of EWEC, said: “We are delighted to have received positive responses from such internationally recognised entities, demonstrating the utmost confidence in Abu Dhabi’s competitive economy. This year, EWEC has already delivered the world’s current largest single-site solar PV project, Noor Abu Dhabi, on time and on budget. We continue to deliver on our ambitious sustainable generation programme, and this new plant is integral to our strategic plan to deliver on the clean energy mix outlined by the UAE Energy Strategy 2050.”
EWEC received 48 expressions of interest from potential bidders for the plant earlier this year, a testament of the trust that international investors have in Abu Dhabi. Out of these expressions of interest, 24 qualified to bid for the project after submitting Statements of Qualification.
The technical bid opening was attended by a number of EWEC’s leadership team and key stakeholders from across the Water and Electricity sector.
EWEC’s team will now start the detailed technical evaluation followed by the commercial evaluation process to select the best proposal, with the award announcement expected to take place by Q1, 2020.
It may be noted that the Emirates Water and Electricity Company had issued the tender for the construction and development of solar photovoltaic power project.
The new project forms part of a series of projects approved by the higher Committee for the Water and Electricity Sector in Abu Dhabi.
Successful bidders would hold a 40 per cent equity stake in the project, with the remaining stake will be held by local entities.
According to Othman Al Ali, “The new solar project in Al Dhafra marks yet another milestone in EWEC’s commitment to the UAE Energy Strategy 2050, which aims to increase the contribution of clean energy as part the country’s overall energy mix.
“The strong interest expressed so far illustrates the attractive business model and reaffirms the strong case for investment in UAE’s renewable energy sector.”
Earlier, speaking about the Noor Abu Dhabi plant, Al Ali had said that over 3,000 workers were involved at Noor Abu Dhabi to help us in our mission to provide clean, reliable and efficient solar energy to the UAE’s electricity grid.
EWEC has revealed that construction work on the solar plant in Al Dhafra region is under way, with the photovoltaic (PV) power project expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2022
EWEC ensures the supply of water and electricity to consumers in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and beyond. The company is responsible for purchasing, selling, planning, organising and managing supply and demand of power and water. EWEC is committed to identifying opportunities for the development of power generation and water desalination facilities, with a focus on sustainability and renewable technologies.
Source: Gulf Today
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