Uzbekistan launches 100 MW solar tender for southwest

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State-owned energy company Uzbekenergo JSC has launched Uzbekistan’s first tender for large-scale solar.

The utility wants developers for the deployment of 100 MW of solar at an unspecified location in the Navoiy region in southwestern Uzbekistan.

The project – to be developed with the support of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) – was discussed with potential investors at a conference in Tashkent in November and Uzbekenergo said more than 20 major energy companies and international financial organizations expressed interest in public-private partnership power projects in the country.

The IFC signed a cooperation agreement with the Uzbek government to attract renewables investments in April. A month later, Canadian developer SkyPower Global announced a plan to build large-scale PV plants with a combined capacity of 1 GW across the regions of Tashkent, Samarkand, Navoiy, Jizzakh, Surxondaryo and Qashqadaryo.

In late October, the government said it had entered a partnership agreement with the French Development Agency to drive infrastructure projects worth an estimated €1 billion ($1.15 billion).

Last year, Uzbek president Shavkat Mirziyoyev announced a solar plan that included auctions for the deployment of 500 MW of solar between 2017 and 2021. The government said five 100 MW plants would be installed at a cost of around $1.1 billion.

Uzbekistan meets approximately 90% of its electricity demand with 12.6 GW of fossil fuel generation capacity, of which 76% is from natural gas, with fuel oil and coal accounting for 7% and 6%, respectively. The nation’s solar strategy aims for 4 GW from PV by 2031, as part of an aim for renewables to meet at least 21% of energy demand.