Qatar utility hails ultra-low tariff in tender for 800MW bifacial PV park

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Source: Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation

A Qatar utility has secured what it claims is a world record-breaking tariff of QAR0.0571/kWh (US$0.01569/kWh) under a tender for the country’s utility-scale debut, beating last year's low price milestones in Portugal and Dubai.

The project was awarded in recent weeks to a Marubeni and Total consortium, which had originally submitted a price of QAR0.0636/kWh (US$0.01747/kWh) for the 800MW development planned 80 kilometres from Doha.

The Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation, also known as Kahramaa, pulled the tariff down by fractions of a cent – and in doing so, secured a self-styled world record for cheap solar electricity.

“Kahramaa has signed the power purchase agreement (PPA) with the project company, with an aim to achieve financial close of the project in May 2020,” the utility said in its updated statement.

“Kahramaa is pleased to note that based on current financial market indices the equivalent LEC (levelised electricity cost) is 5.71 Dhs/kWh (1.567 US cents/kWh), which is one of the world’s lowest for projects of this type,” the statement went on to say. 

The bid has indeed outstripped previous solar records by a whisker. These include French developer Akuo Energy's world record-breaking bid of €0.01476/kWh (US$0.01644 at the time) in a Portuguese state auction in July 2019, and a runner-up tariff of US$0.016953/kWh secured in Dubai by Saudi developer ACWA Energy three months later.

Total and Marubeni will take a joint 40% stake in the project, the 40% stake itself split between the former (49%) and the latter (51%). Siraj Energy, a joint venture between the state-run Qatar Petroleum and the Qatar Electricity & Water Company, will hold the remaining 60%.

The consortium will run the 800MW plant for a period of 25 years, after which ownership will revert to Kahramaa.

Once fully commissioned, the plant will count two million bifacial modules and cover 10% of Qatar’s peak electricity demand.

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