Abu Dhabi’s 1.5 GW tender draws world record low solar bid of $0.0135/kWh


With that tweet, the media office of the UAE government announced the world’s lowest price for solar electricity was today agreed in the 1.5 GW solar tender the Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC) launched in July.

The bidder was a consortium formed by French energy group EDF and Chinese solar company JinkoPower. Industry sources have told pv magazine the consortium offered AED0.0497/kWh ($0.013533) for the power generated at Al Dhafra.

Emirati newspaper The National, meanwhile, reported the other offers were submitted by four consortia: One formed by Saudi energy giant ACWA Power – and including Chinese utility Shanghai Electric according to an earlier report by the Energy and Utilities website; another comprised of French oil giant Total and Japanese trading company Marubeni; another including French group Engie and International Power; and a fourth including Japan’s Softbank and Italian oil and gas provider Eni. The Energy and Utilities website had reported the Engie bid was lodged alongside Al Fanar, rather than International Power.

The tariff

The EDF-Jinko bid of $0.0135/kWh is around $0.0021 lower than the previous record of QAR0.0571/kWh ($0.0156/kWh) which Total and Marubeni offered in Qatar’s 800 MW tender in late January.

The selected consortium will own up to 40% of a special purpose vehicle created for the project, with the remaining stake owned by the Abu Dhabi Power Corporation and other, undisclosed government entities.

Bahrain-based business website Trade Arabia has reported Al Dhafra is scheduled to begin commercial operations in the second quarter of 2022. That would represent only a marginal delay from the original two-year timescale stated in March, when the original date set for opening final price bids was postponed because of Covid-19-related public gathering restrictions in the UAE. When implemented, the solar farm will be the largest PV plant in the Middle East.

The 1.17 GW Sweihan solar park under construction by Indian engineering, procurement and construction company Sterling and Wilson in the emirate of Abu Dhabi holds the regional crown at present as it entered commercial operation in July.

This article was amended on 28/04/20 to reflect the Al Dhafra tender is for 1.5 GW of capacity, rather than 2 GW, as previously stated. The copy has also been amended to state Trade Arabia is based in Bahrain, rather than the UAE.

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