Uzbekistan plans first solar plant


Uzbekistan is planning its first solar plant. The US$207 million 100 MW solar farm is slated for the Samarkand region, in the center of the country.

It is estimated the facility will produce up to 200 million kWh annually.

"The technical and economic parts of the project are being reconciled in the respective ministries of Uzbekistan," according to a press release from the Ministry of the Economy.

Uzbekistan's national Reconstruction and Development Fund will provide $107 million, $90 million will come from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and state energy company ??????????? – that will manage the project – will chip in $10 million.

The winner of the tender for building the plant will be announced by the end of the year with construction due early next year and ??????????? aiming for completion by 2016.

The project is a part of the central Asian state's efforts to develop renewable capacity.

Uzbekistan president Islam Karimov, who has ruled the country since 1989 in defiance of the Uzbek constitution, signed into law a renewables act in March. The country's high solar irradiation levels mean the act focuses on solar energy with the sun predicted to account for 99.7% of the country's renewables capacity.

Before the law, Uzbekistan had carried out local renewables programs, including Clean Energy for auls (villages) in the Karakalpakstan region where small capacity PV projects were installed.

"It has proved to be very useful in securing 24-hour hot water and heating services in mostly remote locations," said Xodzamurat Kaipnazarov, head of the Karakalpakstan administration's Trade and Industry Chamber.

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