The greenfield solar PV plant can power 160,000 homes.

Emirates Water and Electricity Company (Ewec) has issued requests for proposals (RFP) to qualified companies and consortiums that had expressed interest in developing a 1,500 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) independent power project at Ajban in Abu Dhabi.

A leading utility services buyer and supplier across the UAE, Ewec said a total of 43 companies and consortiums had submitted expressions of interest (EoIs), while 19 of them had made it to the RFP stage after submitting statements of qualification.

Al Ajban is a greenfield solar PV plant with a capacity of 1,500 MW that can generate enough electricity to power approximately 160,000 homes across the UAE.

Once commercially operational, it is expected to reduce Abu Dhabi’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by up to 2.4 million tonnes per year besides increasing Abu Dhabi’s solar energy capacity to approximately 4GW.

According to Ewec, the winning developer/developer consortium will be responsible for the financing, construction, operation, maintenance and ownership of the plant, and associated infrastructure.

It will also own up to 40 per cent of the entity, while the remaining equity will be held indirectly by the Abu Dhabi government, it stated.

Together with the two previous large-scale solar projects tendered by Ewec – Noor Abu Dhabi and Al Dhafra projects – the Al Ajban solar PV will play a pivotal role in enabling the UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative as well as UAE Energy Strategy 2050.

CEO Othman Al Ali said: “There has been a strong level of interest expressed in this key project so far, and we look forward to seeing proposals from pre-qualified companies and moving to the next stage of development.”

“Al Ajban will become the third world-leading solar power project created by Ewec, making Abu Dhabi and the UAE home to the three largest single-site solar power plants in the world,” he added.

 According to him, the developer will enter into a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with Ewec, the single buyer of power and water capacity and output in Abu Dhabi.

The deadline for submitting RFPs has been set at end of March.