The consortium, formed by French EDF Group subsidiary, EDF Renewables and Chinese Jinko Power HK, subsidiary of Jinko Power Technology Co. Ltd, both global leaders in renewable energy, have successfully reached the financial closing for the 2 GW Al Dhafra PV2 solar project in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. This operation has been completed along with TAQA Group and Masdar, the Abu Dhabi-based shareholders and major players in the electricity and renewable sectors.
The approximately 1 billion USD transaction has been funded via project financing with BNP Paribas as bookrunner together with Bank of China, Credit Agricole, HSBC, MUFG, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Standard Chartered, as mandated lead arrangers.
Completion of this major milestone allows the mobilization on site and start of construction. Located in the region of Al Dhafra, 35 kilometres south of Abu Dhabi City, this solar photovoltaic plant will be the largest single-site solar plant worldwide.
Al Dhafra PV2 solar project will be the first plant of such scale to deploy bifacial module technology, capturing as such light on both sides of the PV modules and thus benefits from the reflection of light by the ground in order to yield higher generation. The plant spans over 20 square kilometres of desert climate area, with more than 4 million PV modules.
Upon commissioning, targeted in 2022, this project will provide the equivalent electricity to power over 160,000 local households.
A call for tenders was launched in June 2019 by Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC), a leading company in the coordination of planning, purchasing and providing of water and electricity across the UAE. EDF Renewables – Jinko Power consortium submitted the most competitive bid.
As the project is under an independent power producer model (IPP), EDF Renewables and Jinko Power hold respectively 20% of the shares, the remaining 60% is owned by TAQA and Masdar.
The four partners had previously signed the 30-years Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) on July 23rd 2020.
Bruno Bensasson, EDF Group Senior Executive Vice-President Renewable Energies and Chief Executive Officer of EDF Renewables declared: The Al Dhafra PV2 project highlights EDF full commitment to supporting the UAE National Climate Change Plan. We are using our solar best expertise to deliver the next generation of solar plant in Abu Dhabi. The achievement of financial close with our partners and the investment community is a major milestone for the project. We are now fully mobilized to support the construction of the solar plant with the objective of reaching the commercial operation in 2022. This 2GW future solar power plant contributes to meet the EDF Group’s CAP 2030 strategy, which aims to double its worldwide renewable installed energy capacity from 28 to 50 GW nets between 2015 and 2030.