EWEC awards contracts to develop Ajban Solar PV Project

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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EWEC awards Al Ajban Solar PV contract
Rep.Image | Courtesy: WAM

Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC), a leading company in the integrated coordination of planning, purchasing and supply of water and electricity across the UAE, has awarded contracts for its 1.5 gigawatt (AC) Al Ajban Solar PV Independent Power Project.

The development of the utility-scale solar power plant was awarded to an international consortium of EDF Renewables and Korea Western Power Company (KOWEPO), and Masdar as the local shareholder. Following the award the project’s Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) was signed between EWEC and stakeholders.

The signing took place at the World Future Energy Summit in the presence of Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Chairman of Masdar and COP28 President, Hamad Al Hammadi, Chairman of EWEC, and Luc Rémont, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of EDF Group.

The agreement was signed by Othman Al Ali, Chief Executive Officer of EWEC, Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Masdar Chief Executive Officer, Beatrice Buffon, Vice-President in Charge of the International Division and Chief Executive Officer of EDF Renewables, and Park Hyung Duck, Chief Executive Officer of KOWEPO.

EWEC awarded the Al Ajban Solar PV contract after a comprehensive procurement process. The PPA is structured as an energy purchase agreement whereby EWEC will pay only for the net electrical energy supplied by the plant. Under the terms of the PPA, the consortium will design, finance, build and operate the plant, which will be located in Al Ajban, 70km northeast of Abu Dhabi.

Once commercially operational in Q3 2026, Al Ajban Solar PV will make the UAE home to four of the world’s largest single-site solar power plants, with three of them located in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. The project will generate enough electricity to power 160,000 households across the UAE and is expected to reduce Abu Dhabi’s carbon emissions by 2.4 million metric tons per year.

Sultan Al Jaber_COP Presidencies Troika partnership
Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber
Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology
Chairman – Masdar,
COP28 President

“The UAE was the setting for the historic UAE Consensus achieved at COP28 and it is fitting that this latest ambitious solar power project will make our nation home to four of the largest single-site plants on the planet. The UAE is leading by example and matching words with actions in the global effort to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030, and keep the ambition of 1.5°C within reach.”

Al Hammadi said that, “This agreement stands as a testament to the successful ecosystem of world-leading renewable projects in the UAE, reflecting the country’s commitment to accelerating the decarbonization of the energy sector. We take pride in supporting this ambition by procuring renewable technologies and utility-scale solar PV projects, helping to set the pace for global sustainability initiatives and meet the targets set during COP28.”

Luc Rémont commented that, “We are grateful for the collaborative spirit demonstrated by EWEC in bringing the Al Ajban Solar PV plant to fruition. Together with its partners Masdar and KOWEPO, EDF Group is proud to contribute to the fight against climate change and to actively support Middle Eastern countries to achieve their energy transition by proposing low-carbon solutions, including renewable energies, which is at the heart of EDF’s proposal for carbon neutrality.”

Othman Al Ali stated that, “Al Ajban Solar PV is EWEC’s third world-leading solar power project, and it demonstrates that we remain focused on realizing a resilient and sustainable future for the UAE. Aligned with our strategic approach to decarbonizing the energy sector and long-term energy security, EWEC is setting a global benchmark for utility-scale renewable energy projects that accelerate energy transition and sustainability objectives. Our focus extends beyond the immediate benefits, and our advanced techno-economic analysis demonstrates the vital role that solar power plays in meeting both current and future energy demands of Abu Dhabi and the UAE. We look forward to collaborating with our strategic partners to engage in this transformative journey.”

Al Ramahi stressed that, “This announcement further strengthens Masdar’s long-standing partnership with EWEC, EDF and KOWEPO to advance the deployment of clean energy solutions in the UAE. Building on the country’s position as a global leader in the adoption of solar technologies, Al Ajban Solar PV is set to be a world-class project upon completion and will further support the UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative and the global drive to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030 set out in the UAE Consensus.”

Park Hyung Duck highlighted that, “At KOWEPO, we take pride in leading the transition to decarbonized energy, in partnership with Masdar and EDF Renewables. This collaboration on the Al Ajban Solar PV project reflects our deep commitment and our determination to shape a cleaner, more sustainable future for generations. By advancing innovative and sustainable energy solutions, we are contributing to environmental protection while paving the way for the energy supply of the future.”

Renewable energy is crucial for Abu Dhabi’s energy transition and sustainability strategy, serving as a catalyst in realizing the ambitious goals outlined in the UAE Energy Strategy 2050 and the UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative. The project’s financial close is expected by Q3 2024.

By 2030, EWEC is seeking to provide more than 50 percent of Abu Dhabi’s electricity from renewable and clean energy sources, with its latest forecasts recommending the addition of 1.4GW of new solar PV per year between 2027-2037.

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