Dubai: The funding is now in place for the world's biggest solar power project, being built in Abu Dhabi. The 2 GW project in Al Dhafra has received financing from seven international banks.
TAQA (Abu Dhabi National Energy Company) is developing the plant along with Abu Dhabi's Masdar, EDF Renewables and JinkoPower.
The Al Dhafra Solar Photovoltaic (PV) facility is located about 35 kilometers from Abu Dhabi city, and will supply power to Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC). Once operational, it will be the world’s largest single-site solar power plant, using approximately 4 million solar panels to generate enough electricity for approximately 160,000 homes across the UAE.
The plant will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2.4 million metric tonnes annually - equivalent to taking out 470,000 cars from the roads.
Earlier in the year, the competitive bidding for the project led to one of the "most competitive tariffs for solar power", set at Dh4.97 fils/kWh, which upon financial closing, was further brought down to Dh4.85 fils/kWh.
This was primarily from hedging and financing cost improvements. TAQA will own 40 per cent of the project, while the other three will have 20 per cent stake each. Commercial operations are scheduled for 2022.
"The financial closing marks the beginning of an important chapter for this IPP (independent power plant) project, for TAQA Group and for the UAE as we continue to deliver on our bold clean energy ambitions, while demonstrating the commercial and operational viability of utility-scale single-site solar projects," said Jasim Husain Thabet, Group CEO and Managing Director at TAQA.