Masdar, one of the world’s leading renewable energy companies, has inaugurated the 100-megawatt (MW) Nur Navoi Solar Project, Uzbekistan’s first successfully-financed independent power producer (IPP) solar project.
The 100MW photovoltaic (PV) plant, Uzbekistan’s first utility-scale solar project, has begun energization, making its first contribution to Uzbekistan’s renewable energy targets. Once fully operational, the plant will be able to produce enough power for 31,000 households and displace around 150,000 tonnes of CO2 each year.
“In the next five years, we plan to increase our economy’s growth rate by 1.5 times and bring GDP to at least $100 billion. Thousands of new industrial enterprises, both medium and large, will be launched and electricity demand is set to reach 100 billion kilowatt-hours, 30 billion more than now,” Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the President of Uzbekistan, said.
The development is in line with the Central Asian country’s plans to kickstart its renewable energy program by investing $6.5 billion to add 11,500MW of new capacity over the next five years.
Uzbekistan has become a hotspot for renewable energy investment from key Middle East players. The country aims to deploy 5 gigawatts (GW) of solar and 3GW of wind power capacity by 2030, as it aims to meet 25 percent of electricity needs from renewable sources by that year.
“Renewable energy will deliver a cleaner and more sustainable future for Uzbekistan, and enable it to contribute to global action on climate change. This project, and the other solar and wind projects Masdar is building across Uzbekistan, will also power a new phase of industrial growth, and provide rewarding careers for thousands of Uzbek people.”
Masdar, which is owned by Mubadala Investment Company, currently operates in more than 30 countries with a total investment of about $19.9 billion. It signed agreements with the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan and JSC National Electric Grid of Uzbekistan (NEGU) in 2019 to design, finance, build, own and operate the solar plant.
The renewable energy company established Nur Navoi Solar FE LLC as the local project company to deliver the PV plant and to operate and maintain it over a 25-year period.
It has won several tenders to provide clean energy in Uzbekistan, including one for another solar project, a 457MW PV power plant, in the Sherabad district of the Surkhandarya province in Uzbekistan.