Abu Dhabi-based Masdar, one of the world’s leading renewable energy companies, has begun construction of Azerbaijan’s first foreign investment-based independent solar power project, the 230 MW (megawatt) Garadagh Solar PV plant.
The groundbreaking ceremony, held in Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital, was attended by Mr. Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan, Mr. Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, and Mr. Parviz Shahbazov, the Minister of Energy for Azerbaijan.
Mr. Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, led the company’s delegation at the ceremony.
Masdar has also signed agreements related to developing additional clean-energy projects across Azerbaijan.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Al Mazrouei remarked that “The UAE and Azerbaijan share deep cultural and economic ties and a vision for a sustainable future driven by clean energy. The UAE and Masdar look forward to continuing to drive foreign direct investment and supporting Azerbaijan on its ambitious clean energy journey as we explore more opportunities to strengthen our partnership further”.
Meanwhile, Mr. Al Ramahi commented that “This groundbreaking event marks a major milestone in Azerbaijan’s clean energy journey. We at Masdar are proud to leverage our experience and expertise to support the nation’s energy transition. By diversifying its energy mix, Azerbaijan will be able to drive sustainable development and enhance energy security while making a major contribution to climate change mitigation.”
In April 2021, Masdar signed agreements to develop the Garadagh project, located nine kilometers northwest of the Aladdin settlement, which is expected to begin commercial operations by 2023.
The project, which will generate half a billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, will be able to meet the needs of more than 110,000 households. This will also reduce emissions by more than 200,000 tons per year and create more job opportunities.
The key financial partner of the project, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) will further support Azerbaijan in its efforts to achieve renewable energy goals.
Masdar CEO Mr. Al Ramahi signed four MoUs with various parties on the development of Azerbaijan’s clean energy projects, demonstrating Masdar’s broad commitment to the country’s renewable energy goals.
Masdar CEO further added that “We look forward to building on our presence here in Azerbaijan and helping the nation achieve its renewable energy objectives through these agreements. We stand ready as an active strategic partner to Azerbaijan to provide knowledge exchange, develop local expertise, and deliver lasting infrastructure improvement. Together with our local partners, we will put Azerbaijan on the path to a zero-carbon future.”
As Azerbaijan seeks to diversify its economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it aims to increase its proportion of installed energy capacity from renewable sources to 30 percent by 2030. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Azerbaijan has 23,040 megawatts of solar capacity.