Image Credits : The signing ceremony for the 1.5-GW Al-Ajban solar project in Abu Dhabi. Image by EWEC
8 minutes read

EWEC Announces Partners to Develop 1.5 Gigawatt Solar Project in Abu Dhabi

EWEC (Emirates Water and Electricity Company), a leading company in the integrated coordination of planning, purchasing and supply of water and electricity across the UAE, today announced the award 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 HE Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE 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 north-east 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 tonnes per year.

HE Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Chairman of Masdar and COP28 President, said: “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.”

Hamad Al Hammadi, Chairman of EWEC, said: “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 decarbonisation 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, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of EDF Group, commented: “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 East 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, Chief Executive Officer of EWEC, said, “Al Ajban Solar PV is EWEC’s third world-leading solar power project, and it demonstrates that we remain focused on realising a resilient and sustainable future for the UAE. Aligned with our strategic approach to decarbonising 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 demand of Abu Dhabi and the UAE. We look forward to collaborating with our strategic partners to engage in this transformative journey.”

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Masdar Chief Executive Officer, said: “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, Chief Executive Officer of KOWEPO said: “At KOWEPO, we take pride in leading the transition to decarbonised 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 realising 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 aiming to provide more than 50 per cent 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.

About Emirates Water and Electricity Company

EWEC (Emirates Water and Electricity Company) is the sole procurer and supplier of water and electricity in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. EWEC drives the planning, forecasting, purchasing, and despatch of water and electricity. EWEC fulfils these vital responsibilities through the short-term and long-term balancing of bulk supply and demand for distribution companies and authorities in Abu Dhabi and other Emirates. EWEC is supporting the government of Abu Dhabi and the government of the UAE by enabling the reduction of cost whilst also providing the increased security of supply that comes from a cleaner, larger, and more integrated system.

EWEC is mandated to implement strategic initiatives that will achieve the 60 per cent clean energy target outlined in the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy’s (DoE) Clean Energy Strategic Target 2035 for Electricity Production in Abu Dhabi, in addition to enabling the achievement of UAE Water Security Strategy 2036, UAE Energy Strategy by 2050, and the UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative. EWEC is accelerating Abu Dhabi and the UAE’s energy transition by diversifying the country’s energy mix through developing and deploying renewable and clean energy as well as low-carbon intensive water desalination capacities. EWEC is part of ADQ, one of the region’s largest holding companies with a broad portfolio of major enterprises spanning key sectors of Abu Dhabi’s diversified economy. For more information, please visit www.ewec.ae.

About Masdar

Masdar (Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company) is one of the world’s fastest-growing renewable energy companies. As a global clean energy pioneer, Masdar is advancing the development and deployment of solar, wind, geothermal, battery storage and green hydrogen technologies to accelerate the energy transition and help the world meet its net-zero ambitions. Established in 2006, Masdar has developed and invested in projects in over 40 countries with a combined capacity of over 20 gigawatts (GW), providing affordable clean energy access to those who need it most and helping to power a more sustainable future.

Masdar is jointly owned by TAQA, ADNOC, and Mubadala, and is targeting a renewable energy portfolio capacity of 100GW by 2030 while aiming to be a leading producer of green hydrogen by the same year.

About EDF Renewables

EDF Renewables is an international energy company which develops, builds and operates renewable power generation plants.

As a major player in the energy transition worldwide, EDF Renewables deploys, within EDF, competitive, responsible and value-creating projects.
In every country, our teams show their commitment to local stakeholders every day, adding their expertise and capacity for innovation to the fight against climate change.
At the end of 2023, EDF Renewables operates a net installed wind and solar capacity of 12.8 GW (21.2 GW gross) worldwide.

Mainly present in Europe and North America, EDF Renewables is pursuing its development by taking a position in promising emerging markets such as: Brazil, China, India, South Africa and in the Middle East. Historically active in onshore wind and photovoltaics, the Company is now strongly positioned on offshore wind and floating wind as well as in new technologies such as energy storage, floating solar and agrivoltaism.

About Korea Western Power

Korea Western Power (KOWEPO) was established on April 2, 2001 as a public corporation specializing in power generation in Korea.

KOWEPO takes up approximately 8.5% of national generating capacity, and as a leading supplier and innovator in the 21st century Korean power industry, KOWEPO is actively participating many renewable energy projects worldwide in order to respond preemptively to the fast-changing management environment.

KOWEPO is committed to the development of new and renewable energy including solar and wind power along with fuel cell technology to establish ‘New Renewable Energy Roadmap 2035’, which is supplying more than 25% of our total amount of projected production from new and renewable energy in 2030.

KOWEPO has extensive experience in investing equity in the energy sector in financing large scale energy projects worldwide, including the 950 MW Shin Pyeongteak Power (USD 805 million), the 241 MW Sweden Cloud wind project (USD 279 million), and the 110MW Australia Bannerton Solar power project(USD 180 million), 73 MW Finland Adams wind project (USD 147 million) and 500MW Oman Manah Solar power project (USD 444 million).

Through expanding the existing foothold for growth such as securing a new platform to advance to global markets, KOWEPO is focusing on eco-friendly complex & renewable energy projects in tandem with construction, operation and management business by analyzing the global power generation market based on the experience in developing and operating the world’s highest level power plants.

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