Maldives to Develop 10 MW Floating Solar System and 11 MW of Land-based Solar Projects in Six Major Islands

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Maldives has issued a tender inviting interest from bidders to participate in the pre-qualification process for installing 21 MW of grid-tied solar systems in six major islands namely – Addu City, Fuvahmulah City, Kulhudhuffushi City, GDh. Thinadhooo, B.Evdhafushi, and Lh.Hinnavaru.

This subproject is rolled out with financial and technical assistance from the World Bank’s Accelerating Renewable Energy Integration and Sustainable Energy (ARISE) project in the Maldives. The last date for the submission of bids is March 12, 2020.

ARISE project is continuing on the efforts of World Banks Accelerating Sustainable Private Investments in Renewable Energy (ASPIRE) initiative in the Maldives aimed to bring in private investments for increasing RE capacity in the Maldives and establishing a conducive mechanism for such through several risk mitigation strategies. 

The selected bidder would be required to sign PPA with the existing service Provider for a period of 15 to 20 years. The bidder is responsible for the design, build, finance, own, operate and transfer of all facets of the project and must meet a minimum generation output specified in the bidding document.

The World Bank is in the early stages of exploring a potential financial support package for the project. To participate in the 21 MW pre-qualification process, interested parties should register with the Ministry of Finance from January 30, 2020, to March 12, 2020. A complete set of Pre-Qualification documents and related documentation are available for download on the Ministry of Finance website here: www.finance.gov.mv, as per news reports.

Reinforcing the commitments made under the Strategic Action Plan (SAP), the Minister of Environment announced a target to increase the share of renewable energy to 70 percent by 2030 at the UN Climate Action Summit in September 2019. Despite the Government’s larger clean energy ambitions, the scope for public sector investment is limited due to fiscal constraints.

Mobilizing private sector investment will therefore be a critical catalyst to achieving the GoM’s renewable energy targets and enabling an energy transition. The World Bank-financed ASPIRE project (P145482) has been under implementation since its approval in 2014. Phase 1 sub-project of 1.5 MW of rooftop solar PV in Hulhumale’ has been operational since March 2018. Phase 2 subproject for 5 MW in Greater Malé is under tendering. 

By putting in place a robust risk mitigation package to address the concerns of IPPs and offering technical assistance to the PMU, the ASPIRE Project has started to improve the investment climate in the renewable energy sector. This is clearly evidenced by the dramatic tariff reduction seen between Phase 1 and Phase 2 bidding; falling from 21 US cents per kWh in Phase 1 to 10.9 US cents per kWh5 in Phase 2.

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