Sterling and Wilson wins contract to build 1.17 GW solar project in Abu Dhabi

Indian EPC company Sterling and Wilson Pvt Ltd, a unit of India-based industrial conglomerate Shapoorji Pallonji Group, announced it has secured the EPC and O&M contract to build and operate a 1,177 GW solar project in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The company said that construction of the plant is already underway, and that it is scheduled to be fully integrated with the grid in a timeline of 23 months.

The Abu Dhabi Electricity and Water Authority (ADWEA), which is building the plant in partnership with Chinese module maker Jinko and Japanese trading company Marubeni Corp., announced the close of the financing for the project in late May.

The joint venture of JinkoSolar and Marubeni signed a 25-year PPA for the project with ADWEA back in March, with one of the lowest electricity prices ever seen in a utility scale PV project, $0.0242/kWh. Officially the PPA was signed with ADWEC, a wholly owned subsidiary of ADWEA.

The Sweihan project was awarded through a competitive bidding process managed by ADWEA. Given its vast size, bidding parties were encouraged to form consortia.

In September 2016, pv magazine reported that JinkoSolar and Marubeni had put in the most price competitive bid of just $0.0242 per kWh. At that time, there were some media reports that the lowest bid, of the six shortlisted consortia, came in at $0.023/kWh.

In the initial stages of its development, the Sweihan project was slated for a capacity of 350 MW. Presumably, as a result of the low bids, ADWEA chose to expand its final capacity to the more than 1.1 GW (AC).