Tutly Solar, French energy giant Total Eren’s subsidiary in Uzbekistan, has been awarded an €87.4 million US$106.32 million) loan package to develop a utility-scale solar PV system in the country.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has said it will offer €43.7 million in debt financing, while a subsidiary of Agence Française de Développement, called PROPARCO, and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will each provide €21.8 million.
The project, a 100MW PV power plant in Samarkand, in southeastern Uzbekistan, will be one of few private-sector renewables projects in the country when it comes online, supplying the National Electric Networks of Uzbekistan through a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA). It is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
Laurence Juin, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Total Eren, said the energy company is “eager to commission” the solar farm and hopes to develop other renewable energy projects in Uzbekistan and in the region.
Uzbekistan’s power mix still relies heavily on fossil fuels, with most of its electricity supplied by natural gas, but the country’s government has made more efforts to boost the share of solar in the past year, launching several tenders in 2020 with a target of deploying 5GW of installed solar by 2030. The government has also been working with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to roll out the structuring and tendering of up to 900MW of solar PV through private-public-partnerships (PPPs).
Last December, the Ministry of Investments and Foreign Trade (MIFT) joined several global banks in signing a loan agreement for Abu Dhabi-based solar developer Masdar to create a 100MW PV project in Sherabad, which it claims will be Uzbekistan’s first fully-financed independent solar project.
More recently, Dubai developer Phanes Group signed a deal with the government to realise a 200MWac solar project in the Navoiy region, which will also be financed through a power purchase agreement with the National Electric Grid of Uzbekistan