Abu Dhabi’s Masdar to build Armenia’s largest utility-scale solar plant

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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Masdar & Armenia
Dignitaries from Masdar & Armenia during the signing ceremony.

Masdar, one of the world’s leading renewable energy companies, has signed an agreement with the Government of the Republic of Armenia to develop Ayg-1 project, a 200-megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) plant, which will be the West Asian country’s largest utility-scale solar plant.

The Ayg-1 project will be developed on a design, finance, build, own, and operate (DFBOO) basis and the project company will be 85 percent owned by Masdar, with the Armenian National Interests Fund (ANIF), a government-owned investment vehicle, holding 15 percent. The plant will span over 500 hectares and is expected to create several direct and indirect jobs.

In July, the Armenian Government announced that Masdar was the winning bidder for the project. The Ayg-1 plant will be located between the Talin and Dashtadem communities of Armenia, in an area where solar radiation is high and land is unusable for agricultural purposes.

Commenting on the agreement, Mr. Gnel Sanosyan, the Minster of the Territorial Administration and Infrastructure of Armenia, said “The gradual increase of renewable sources in our country’s energy system is one of the priorities set by the Government of Armenia. We regard this cooperation with Masdar as an important step towards this goal, as well as towards endorsing Armenia’s investment potential. The Ayg-1 industrial 200 MW solar plant project is a milestone on this road.”

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi
Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi
CEO – Masdar

“This agreement marks a milestone on Armenia’s clean energy journey, and the development of this project will support the nation’s sustainable economic development. We look forward to working with the Armenian National Interests Fund on further opportunities in this field, and leveraging the experience we have gained as a global leader in renewable energy projects to support the diversification of Armenia’s energy mix.”

Armenia is looking to raise the share of renewables in its energy mix and reduce its dependence on imported oil and gas. The country also has significant solar energy potential, with an average annual solar energy flow per square meter of the horizontal surface of around 1,720-kilowatt hour (kWh), compared with the average European figure of 1,000 kWh.

Ms. Ahlam Rashid Ahmed AlAbd AlSalami, Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of the UAE, said “The UAE and Armenia are united in our commitment to take positive action against climate change while creating greater economic opportunities and this project marks a key stage in Armenia’s clean energy journey and our hopes for this project to serve as an exemplary success to attract opportunities for Armenia from the UAE.”

Related: Green electricity could become the cheapest energy by 2050; Study


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