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EWEC Issues Request For Proposals For The Development Of 1,500MW Al Ajban Solar PV Independent Power Project

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EWEC (Emirates Water and Electricity Company), a leading company in the integrated coordination of planning, purchasing, and supply of water and electricity across the UAE, has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to qualified companies and consortiums that had expressed interest in developing the new Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Independent Power Project to be located in the Ajban area of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. 

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The Al Ajban Solar PV Project, a greenfield solar PV plant with a power generation capacity of 1,500MW (AC), will generate enough electricity to power approximately 160,000 homes across the UAE. Once commercially operational it is expected to reduce Abu Dhabi’s CO2 emissions by up to 2.4 million metric tonnes per year, increase solar energy capacity on the Abu Dhabi system to approximately 4GW (AC), and is fundamentally important to the nation’s energy transition and Abu Dhabi’s sustainability and economic diversification agenda. Together with the two previous large-scale Solar PV Projects tendered by EWEC, namely Noor Abu Dhabi and the Al Dhafra Solar PV Project, the Al Ajban Solar PV Project will play a pivotal role in enabling the UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative as well as UAE Energy Strategy 2050. 

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Othman Al Ali, Chief Executive Officer of EWEC, said: “Increased solar power generation is a key pillar in our strategic plan to fundamentally transition our energy generation to a low carbon system. There has been a strong level of interest expressed in this key project so far, and we look forward to seeing proposals from pre-qualified companies and moving to the next stage of development. The Al Ajban Solar PV Project will become the third world leading solar power project created by EWEC, making Abu Dhabi and the UAE home to the three largest single-site solar power plants in the world. Combined with Noor Abu Dhabi and Al Dhafra Solar PV, Al Ajban Solar PV will increase Abu Dhabi’s solar power generation capacity to 4GW, reducing carbon emissions by approximately six million metric tonnes per year.”

The RFP is being issued to bidders that passed the qualification process following the Expression of Interest (EOI) stage that took place in May 2022. A total of 43 companies and consortiums submitted EOIs, while 19 companies and consortiums qualified for the RFP stage after submitting Statements of Qualification. The RFP provides detailed requirements and proposed technical parameters for the project to support companies and consortiums in developing their submissions.

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The project will involve the development, financing, construction, operation, maintenance, and ownership of the plant, and associated infrastructure. The successful developer or developer consortium will own up to 40 per cent of the entity, while the remaining equity will be held indirectly by the Abu Dhabi Government.

The developer will enter into a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with EWEC, the single buyer of power and water capacity and output in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The PPA will be structured as an energy purchase agreement whereby EWEC will pay only for the net electrical energy supplied by the plant.

Responses to the RFP are expected by the end of Q1 2023. EWEC will then hold a public event to confirm the companies and consortiums who submit proposals.

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