Abu Dhabi: Masdar on Thursday announced that it has signed an agreement with Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Energy to develop and finance a 200-megawatt utility scale solar photovoltaic (PV) project.

Under the agreement, Masdar will develop, build and operate the 200MW solar PV project, which will be located 75 kilometres southwest of the capital, Baku. Financial close on the project is targeted for the end of 2020, while commercial operations are expected to start in 2022.

The agreement was signed at a ceremony held in Baku, by Parviz Shahbazov, minister of energy of Azerbaijan, and Mohammad Jameel Al Ramahi, chief executive officer of Masdar.

“Today’s signing marks a major step forward for Azerbaijan and its ambitions to diversify its energy mix,” said Al Ramahi. “As a global leader in the development of commercially viable renewable energy projects in more than 30 countries, Masdar is honoured to partner with the Republic of Azerbaijan to develop the landmark 200MW solar project,” he added.

“With more than a decade of experience, we are also proud to be supporting the government of Azerbaijan and its clean energy transition,” Al Ramahi said.

The building of the solar plant comes as part of Azerbaijan’s energy transition to renewables, with the country aiming to have 30 per cent of its domestic power consumption coming from clean energy by 2030.

“The diversification of electricity production via utilising renewable energy sources is one of the main priorities of focus by the president of the Republic of Azerbaijan. By signing this agreement, from now on, we are starting a new phase in the renewable energy sector of Azerbaijan,” said Shahbazov, commenting on the new solar project.

“Our cooperation with Masdar, as one of our first foreign partners in the renewable energy sector, will make a contribution to achieve our goals regarding sustainable and clean energy, and facilitate to deliver our shared interests,” he added.

Masdar will also be putting the spotlight on clean energy next week as it hosts the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, with its array of sustainable projects ranging from solar, wind, and waste to energy to be highlighted among many others.