Uzbekistan builds 40 MW solar park to power free economic zone

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The Ministry of Innovative Development of the Republic of Uzbekistan and Thai engineering, procurement and construction services contractor Helios Energy Co. have signed an agreement to build a 40 MW solar park in Namangan in eastern Uzbekistan.

Construction is expected to start this year with completion next year. The project will power the Namangan Free Economic Zone Uzbek president Shavkat Mirziyoyev decided to build in August 2018. Industrial activities planned in the area include the deep processing, storage and packaging of fruit and vegetable and agricultural products; textiles; shoe and leather goods; food; electrical industry; machine and automobile manufacturing; and construction materials production.

Businesses operating in the area will enjoy a special tax, customs and currency regime.

The solar project, funded by the government without public incentives, will deliver all the power it generates to the industrial zone, a Helios spokesperson told pv magazine. “The agreement between Helios Energy and the Ministry of Innovative Development underlines Uzbekistan’s commitment to installing 4 GW of solar PV by 2031,” the company stated in a press release.

Uzbekistan aims to source a quarter of its electricity from renewables by 2030. The country is developing large scale solar plants with a combined capacity of 1 GW with the support of the International Finance Corporation, the private finance arm of the World Bank Group.