This year we may see yet another record low solar power tariff as Abu Dhabi gears up to launch a second tender for a large-scale solar power park.
Officials of Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA) recently announced that a fresh solar power tender with at least 350 megawatts of capacity will be launched later this year. The authority had floated a tender for a 350 megawatt solar park in 2015. The tender attracted bids from 34 companies and consortiums.
While the planned project was of 350 megawatts of capacity, ADWEA had allowed developers to bid for any capacity they want. Finally, a consortium of JinkoSolar and Marubeni was awarded a contract to develop a 1,177 megawatt solar power project at a record-breaking tariff of ¢2.42/kWh.
ADWEA is believed to have closed $872 million in funding for the project last year. The first phase of the project is expected to be commissioned next year and the order for inverters has been awarded to Ingeteam.
The Middle East has seen several record solar power tariff bids over the last few months and years. The region offers ample solar radiation and land to develop very large-scale solar power projects. The JinkoSolar-Marubeni project will be one of the largest solar power projects developed by a single entity at one location.
Neighboring emirate Dubai is also working on a 5 gigawatt solar power park with over 1.7 gigawatts of capacity awarded. Recently, Saudi Arabia also received a new record-breaking tariff bid of ¢1.79/kWh from a consortium of EDF and Masdar.
Abu Dhabi is already host to one of Asia’s largest concentrated solar thermal power projects — the 100 megawatt Shams 1 project.