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Abu Dhabi’s 1.5 GW tender secures record low solar bid

May 7, 2020 PV InfoLink


The media office of the United Arab Emirates government said on April 28 that a 1.5 GW PV tender issued by the Emirates Water and Electricity Company drew the world’s lowest tariff for solar power. 

UAE media office tweet

“ADPower corporation announces lowest tariff for solar power in the world. Subsidiary EWEC announced via a weblink five bidding consortia’s technical and commercial bids to finance, construct, operate and maintain the Al Dhafra Solar PV project in #AbuDhabi,” the tweet read.

The successful bidder is a consortium formed by French electric utility company EDF and Chinese PV company JinkoPower. The EDF–Jinko consortium submitted a weighted levelized electricity cost (WLEC) tariff of AED 3.2046/kWh (USD 0.008732/kWh) and an evaluated weighted levelized electricity cost (EWLEC) tariff of AED 2.9117/kWh (USD 0.007934/kWh). 

The second lowest bid, offered by Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power, is USD 0.0921/kWh on a WLEC basis and USD 0.09254/kWh on a EWLEC basis.

Full list of bidders and their EWLEC tariffs:

•    EDF (France)/Jinko Power (China), USD 0.007934/kWh
•    ACWC Power (Saudi Arabia), USD 0.009254/kWh
•    Marubeni (Japan)/Total (France), USD 0.01012/kWh
•    Engie (France)/Alfanar (Saudi Arabia), USD 0.010743/kWh
•    Softbank Energy (Japan)/Eni (Italy), USD 0.012084/kWh

Sources have told PV Men that rather than LCOE, the bid is calculated on a EWLEC basis, which has floating rates. This means that power producers can receive higher returns if they generate more power during peak summer months, in which the electricity rate is higher.

In terms of LCOE, the lowest bid is USD 0.0135/kWh.

Earlier in January, the Marubeni–Total consortium won a 800 MW solar project in Qatar with QAR 0.0571/kWh (USD 0.0156/kWh).

The successful consortium can establish an entity and own up to 40% of the entity’s stake, with ADPower and a handful of undisclosed government bodies holding the remaining 60% stake.

Trade Arabia reported that the Al Dhafra-based 1.5 GW PV project is expected to begin commercial operation in Q2 2022. Upon completion, the project will become the largest PV plant in the Middle East.

Source: PV Men 

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