Nur Navoi Solar Project : Masdar inaugurates Uzbekistan’s first utility-scale solar project
Masdar, an Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy company, has inaugurated the 100MW Nur Navoi Solar Project in Uzbekistan in the presence of the country’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
In late 2019, the subsidiary of Mubadala Investment Company had inked a power purchase agreement (PPA) and government support agreement (GSA) with the Uzbekistan government to design, finance, construct and operate what is the first public-private partnership (PPP) solar power plant in the country.
Also, the first utility-scale solar project in Uzbekistan, the Nur Navoi Solar Project has started energization, thereby making its first contribution to the renewable energy targets of the country. After it is fully operational, the Nur Navoi solar plant will generate enough electricity to meet the power requirements of 31,000 homes, while offsetting nearly 150,000 tonnes of CO2 each year.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev said: “In the next five years, we plan to increase our economy’s growth rate by 1.5 times, and bring GDP to at least US $100 billion. Thousands of new industrial enterprises, both medium and large will be launched, and electricity demand is set to reach 100 billion kilowatt-hours – 30 billion more than now.
“Therefore, we have very big plans for new reforms and projects in the electric power industry. In the next five years, 19 projects worth US$6.5 billion will be launched to create 11,500 MW of new capacity.”
Masdar has the rights to operate and maintain the Nur Navoi Solar Project over a 25-year period.
Nur Navoi marks the first renewable energy project for Masdar to have started operations in Uzbekistan. The company had pledged to build various other solar and wind projects in the Central Asian nation.
Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi — CEO of Masdar said: “The Nur Navoi Solar Project will play a significant role in Uzbekistan’s energy transition and in achieving its climate change objectives.
“I look forward to continuing our highly successful collaboration with the Government of Uzbekistan, through our strong portfolio of wind and solar projects with a total capacity of around 2.5 GW in the country, a key strategic investment destination for Masdar.”
In July 2021, Masdar had signed agreements for developing a couple of photvoltaic (PV) projects with a combined capacity of 440MW in Uzbekistan.
To be located in the Samarkand and Jizzakh regions, the solar power projects are slated to begin operations in Q1 2023. Apart from these, Masdar had bagged a tender for another solar project in Uzbekistan, of 457MW capacity in the Sherabad district in Surkhandarya province.