Pakistan designing new auction plan to deploy 9 GW of additional solar power


Engie‘s engineering subsidiary, Tractebel, has announced its support for Pakistan‘s Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) in setting a new strategy to achieve an additional 9 GW of solar capacity by 2030.

Tractebel is currently engaged in providing technical and economic analyses for factors such as land availability, solar project costs, siting, and development, all of which will be considered in upcoming auctions.

“We will support and advise on preparation of request for proposal (RFP) packages for independent power producer (IPP) and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC), plus the entire bidding process including contract negotiations,” the Belgium-based company said. “The mandate is expected to be completed in early 2024.”

The government of Pakistan's plan entails the installation of 6 GW of large-scale photovoltaic plants, 2 GW of medium-sized solar projects not exceeding 4 MW, and 1 GW of rooftop PV capacity.

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In May 2022, the World Bank said that for Pakistan to achieve its clean energy goals, it needed to quickly introduce renewable energy auctions, which were approved by its energy regulator in 2017. The World Bank proposed a dual-track strategy, which involves identifying big renewable energy parks, primarily in the wind-rich provinces of Balochistan and Sindh, alongside smaller project capacities that can be auctioned near electricity substations with available capacity.

As outlined in the report, the generation capacity for the auctions should be in blocks of at least 50 MW, with slices ranging from 300 MW to 600 MW within the large parks. Tariffs should be determined no later than 33 weeks after the start of each auction process. The maximum bid price for each auction should be established with reference to previous exercises, and resulting power purchase agreements (PPAs) should span 20 to 25 years.

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Pakistan had an installed solar power capacity of around 1.24 GW by the close of 2022.

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