Masdar wins Uzbekistan’s 100 MW PV tender with lowest bid of $0.027/kWh

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Uzbekenergo JSC, Uzbekistan’s state-owned energy company, has chosen the bid of UAE-based developer Masdar as the winner among 23 it received for the the country’s first large scale PV tender, launched in February.

According to the International Financial Corp (IFC), which is advising the Uzbek government on the tender process, Masdar submitted a bid of $0.027/kWh for the 100 MW solar power project at an unspecified location in southwestern Uzbekistan. The project is being financially supported by the Austrian Ministry of Finance, Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs and the government of the Netherlands. The energy utility accepted submissions from 23 companies from Europe, Asia and the Middle East, the IFC said in March last year.

The IFC said Masdar’s price was one of the lowest tariffs seen for large scale solar in emerging markets and that two more tenders for 400 MW and 500 MW will be launched in the near future. The IFC also said that the new tendered project will be configured as a landmark public-private partnership transaction.

“The project is part of an effort by the government of Uzbekistan to develop up to 5 GW of solar power by 2030 to diversify the country’s energy mix,” said Shukhrat Vafaev, Uzbek deputy minister for development and investments. The country’s total power generation capacity stands at around 12.6 GW. Gas accounts for nearly 76% of Uzbekistan’s electricity demand while fuel oil and coal make up 7% and 6%, respectively.

A 40 MW solar project was recently announced for the Namangan Free Economic Zone and a new provision to support rooftop PV, solar heaters and energy-efficient gas burners was introduced at the beginning of September.