Masdar inks deals for 1.1GW Saudi PV project and 500MW Azerbaijan plan

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The company has a large presence in both countries already. Image: Masdar

UAE state-owned renewable energy developer Masdar has announced two large-scale renewables development plans this week, in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan.

1.1GW Saudi PPA

A consortium comprising renewables developers – Masdar and France’s EDF Renewables – and Saudi conglomerate Nesma Company have signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the planned 1.1GW Al Henakiyah Solar Plant in Saudi Arabia.

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The PPA for the plant was signed with the Saudi Power Procurement Company (SPPC) after the consortium submitted the lowest successful bid for the contract, at US$16.84 per MWh. The Al Henakiyah project is expected to reach financial close in late 2024 and will constitute an estimated US$1 billion in investment, Masdar said. The project is expected online in 2025, at which point it will be one of the world’s largest single site solar PV projects.

The site will be developed, built, owned and operated by the consortium, building on the existing association between Masdar and EDF Renewables which saw the former buy a 50% stake in an EDF Renewables 128MW/160MWh US solar-plus-storage project earlier this year.

Masdar added that at least 19% of the equipment, materials and services used during the construction phase will be provided by Saudi companies. Supply agreements for modules, trackers or other components were not revealed.

“The Kingdom [of Saudi Arabia] is a key strategic market for Masdar,” said Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Masdar CEO, “we are committed to supporting the Ministry of Energy and the SPPC achieve the targets set out under Vision 2030 and the Saudi Green Initiative, as the country accelerates its green transition toward net zero emissions by 2060.”

500MW Azerbaijan MOU

Masdar, which is owned by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, also announced a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Saudi energy company ACWA Power and the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) for 500MW of renewables generation projects in Azerbaijan.

The capacity will be located in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

“We are pleased to announce the formalisation of the tripartite collaboration between SOCAR and our esteemed partners, Masdar and ACWA Power, solidifying our aspiration to advancing renewable energy initiatives in Azerbaijan,” said Afgan Isayev, vice-president of SOCAR, the state-owned oil and gas producer. “This strategic alliance underscores our dedication to harnessing the vast potential of solar and wind energy, furthering our efforts to reduce carbon emissions, and fostering economic growth in our region.”

Masdar has already established itself in Azerbaijan after signing agreements last month to develop 1GW of solar and wind assets in the country. These agreements were part of a wider framework to develop 10GW of solar and wind projects in the country.

In a PV Tech Premium feature earlier this year, Masdar said to this publication that the Central Asian region – in which Masdar is one of the most prominent renewables developers – will need to invest ‘heavily’ in transmission infrastructure if it is to meet its renewable energy targets.

Much of the power for solar PV development in Central Asia is held by Middle-Eastern players. For example, in January Masdar inked a 1GW deal for projects in Kyrgyzstan and ACWA Power has a framework agreement in place for 2.6GW of solar and storage in Uzbekistan.

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