Masdar starts building 760MW solar PV projects in Azerbaijan

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The projects are developed in collaboration with Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR. Image: Masdar

UAE state-owned renewable energy developer Masdar has started constructing two solar PV projects in Azerbaijan, with a combined capacity of 760MW.

The entire development, developed in collaboration with Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR, includes the 445MW Bilasuvar solar PV project, the 315MW Neftchala solar PV project and a 240MW wind project. Investment agreements for the projects were reached in October 2023, followed by the signing of power purchase agreements (PPAs), transmission connection agreements and land lease agreements.

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PV Tech reported that these projects are the first phase of a 10GW pipeline of renewables projects in Azerbaijan signed in 2022.

Parviz Shahbazov, Azerbaijan’s energy minister, said the projects could generate 2.3 billion kWh of electricity annually.

Prior to these projects, Masdar began operating the 308MWp Garadagh (Area 60) solar PV project in Azerbaijan last year. Once operational, the project produces 500GWh of power annually using inverter manufacturer Sungrow’s 320kW string inverters SG320HX. The project is compatible with the MV8850-LV MV stations. Spanning an area of about 5.5 million square metres in the Gobustan District in Azerbaijan, the project uses an 8.85MW large PV blocks design, and the static var generator is replaced by the SG320HX.

Azerbaijan plans to generate 30% of its energy capacity from renewable power by 2030. Last month, Azerbaijan announced its first solar auction, seeking private support for the design, financing, operation and maintenance of a 100MW project in the eastern municipality of Gobustan.

The ministry plans to make its decision on the first phase of awarding the tender on 12 July, but offered no timeline as to when the project would be expected to be commissioned. The ministry noted that “foreign investments” would be welcome in this process, as the government looks to continue to attract overseas investors into its energy sector.

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