The Asian Development Bank will lend $11.5 million (KZT4.34 billion) to fund a 50 MW solar project in southern Kazakhstan.
The loan will be provided to Baikonur Solar LLP – a special purpose vehicle owned by U.K.-based United Green Energy Ltd – and the Kazakhstani sovereign wealth fund Baiterek Venture Fund Joint Stock Company.
Additional public funding – of around $30 million – for the project has been provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Clean Technology Fund. As well as the solar power plant, the project includes construction of a substation and grid connection infrastructure.
The project marks the ADB’s first move into financing solar in Kazakhstan. Partner the EBRD has already financed several projects in the nation, including the 100 MW SES Saran Solar project which was connected in January. China’s Risen Energy has completed a 40 MW project in eastern Kazakhstan which it claims makes it the first private enterprise to invest in the country’s solar development.
Under the Paris climate accords, Kazakhstan committed to reducing carbon emissions by 15% below its 1990 levels by 2030. The country also aims to generate half its energy from renewables by 2050. Kazakhstan held a solar tender in October which assigned four PV projects with a total capacity of 170 MW.
“Kazakhstan’s energy sector has mostly relied on coal, with almost 80% of the country’s electricity generated from coal-fired power plants which are mostly outdated and obsolete,” said ADB senior investment specialist for private sector operations, Mohammed Azim Hashimi. “ADB’s loan to Baikonur will help Kazakhstan achieve its goal of increasing the share of renewable energy.”