Abu Dhabi secures funding to build world’s largest solar power plant

DUBAI: The Abu Dhabi National Energy Co. (TAQA) on Tuesday announced it has secured funding to build the world’s largest solar power plant.
The successful financial closing of Al-Dhafra Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Independent Power Producer (IPP) project was achieved alongside TAQA’s partners Masdar, EDF Renewables and JinkoPower. The plant will be located around 35km from Abu Dhabi city, will have capacity of 2 gigawatts (GW) and will supply power to the Emirates Water and Electricity Co. (EWEC).
When complete, Al-Dhafra Solar PV IPP will be the world’s largest single-site solar power plant, using approximately 4 million solar panels to generate enough electricity for approximately 160,000 homes across the UAE.
Funding for the project will be sourced from seven international banks. TAQA will own 40 percent of the project while Masdar, EDF Renewables and JinkoPower will have a 20 percent stake each.
“Through this project and many others – such as TAQA’s Noor Abu Dhabi, currently the world’s largest operational solar power plant – we have established the company as a trusted integrated utilities partner that is leading the sector’s transformation in the UAE and beyond,” said Jasim Husain Thabet, group CEO and managing director at TAQA.
“We have an expanded portfolio of power and water assets that we will grow further through a disciplined approach, adding value for our shareholders and delivering a diverse supply of energy for our stakeholders and the communities in which we operate.”
EWEC CEO Othman Al-Ali said: “Reaching the financial close for a project of this scale and efficiency marks another milestone in EWEC’s commitment to developing the UAE’s renewable energy sector.”
He added: “Over the past 12 months, EWEC has collaborated with international, regional and local partners during the bidding, negotiation and financial close for a number of ground-breaking projects: The world’s largest reverse osmosis desalination project at Taweelah, the UAE’s largest and most advanced gas-fired power plant in Fujairah, and now the world’s largest solar power plant at Al-Dhafra.”
Bruno Bensasson, EDF Group senior executive vice president for renewable energies and CEO of EDF Renewables, said the plant is due to start commercial operations in 2022.

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