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Abu Dhabi's 2 gigawatt solar farm gets five build bids

Once built, it would supply power at possibly record-low prices

File picture of the Dh3.2-billion Noor Abu Dhabi solar plant, located at Sweihan in Abu Dhabi. The emirate is now moving towards the launch a new one - a mega 2 gigawatt plant.
Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: A solar farm - bigger than 4,200 soccer pitches - will be built in the UAE to supply power at what could be record-low prices. Abu Dhabi Power Corporation received five bids from unidentified investors to build the 2-gigawatt solar project, one of the largest in the world.

Super-sized solar projects have become increasingly common as developers can use the size to drive down costs.

The first-ranked bidder offered a price of 1.35 cents per kilowatt-hour, the company said in a statement. That number is more of an estimate than a guarantee of what users will actually pay. But it is a good indication that the renewable power from the plant will be cheap.

"It's very likely that the land and grid connection are being provided by the state, and with a very large project, economies of scale in building and operation will be optimised," said Jenny Chase, analyst at BloombergNEF.

The Al Dhafra Solar PV project will more than double Abu Dhabi's solar generation to 3.2 gigawatts. It adds to another giant solar project in the emirate, the 1.2-gigawatt Noor Abu Dhabi solar plant, which started operations last year.