EWEC commissions 2 GW solar plant in Abu Dhabi


Abu Dhabi officials inaugurated the 2 GW the 2 GW Dhafra Solar Photovoltaic Independent Power Project in the Emirate’s west on Wednesday.

Touted as the world’s largest single-site solar power plant, the project is managed by UAE-based renewable energy company Masdar, national energy company Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA), French energy giant EDF and Chinese solar developer Jinko Power.

Representatives from the project’s procurer – Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC) – were present at the inauguration, which was timed to coincide with Abu Dhabi kicking off hosting duties for the upcoming 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference, aka COP 28.

The project comprises four million bifacial solar panels spread over 20 kilometers of arid desert. It is expected to supply enough power for roughly 200,000 homes. The energy is being procured through EWEC, according to a 30-year power purchase agreement (PPA).

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The project is also claimed to have “broken records” on cost, with the initial project tariff set at AED 4.97 fils/kWh ($1.35/kWh) before being revised down to AED 0.0485/kWh ($0.0132/kWh) at financial close. The project was tendered in 2019 to be operational by early 2022.

United Arab Emirates had 2.9 GW of installed solar capacity at the end of last year, according to estimates published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). It is expected the Dhafra Solar Photovoltaic Independent Power Project will bring the country’s total well over 3 GW.

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