Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC) has announced that a consortium comprising Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA), Masdar, JinkoPower of China, and EDF of France will develop the world's largest solar plant.
The 2,000-megawatt (MW) Al Dhafra solar photovoltaic (PV) independent power project will be located 35 kilometres from Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
It will be 60% owned by TAQA and Masdar, while the remaining 40% will be owned by EDF and JinkoPower. Financial closing is expected in the third quarter, with initial power generation commencing in the first half of 2022 and full generation in the second half of 2022.
The project’s power purchase and shareholders’ agreements were signed with EWEC, which co-ordinates the planning, purchasing and provision of water and electricity in the UAE.
The procurement process resulted in one of the most cost-competitive tariffs for solar PV energy – US$1.35 cents per kilowatt-hour on a levelized cost of electricity basis.
The Al Dhafra solar PV project will be larger than TAQA’s existing 1.2-gigawatt (GW) Noor Abu Dhabi plant, which is currently the world’s largest operational single-project solar PV plant. Once fully operational, the plant will increase Abu Dhabi’s solar power capacity to approximately 3.2GW.
“Jinko is once again privileged to be a partner in developing the new largest PV generation plant in the world, following our successful partnership in building the current world’s largest single solar project, Noor Abu Dhabi,“ says Charles Bai, president of JinkoPower International Business.
The UAE, Bai notes, is an attractive environment for investors, which underpins JinkoPower’s strategy of investing in renewable energy projects in the country.
JinkoPower, founded in 2011, is a leading global independent power producer that develops, builds, finances, owns and operates solar power plants. The company owns or has connected, as of December 2019, about 3GW of solar projects in China. It also owns and manages an international asset portfolio that spans Europe, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East.
The renewable energy company Masdar is wholly owned by Mubadala Investment, the strategic investment company of the Abu Dhabi government.