A consortium made up of EDF and JinkoSolar is the winner of Abu Dhabi’s latest solar tender.
Abu Dhabi set a world record for solar power prices, as authorities confirmed the winning bid in a 2 gigawatt tender. It is expected that by mid-2022 it will be completed and it will be the the largest solar energy project in the world.
The Al Dhafra project had five bidders, with the lowest bid being 1.35 cents per kilowatt hour.
The consortium is made up of the French energy giant EDF and the projects division of the Chinese solar manufacturer Jinko Solar.
ADPower will now negotiate a 30-year power purchase agreement with EDF / Jinko. If a deal cannot be reached, ADPower, which is part of the Emirates Water and Electricity Company, can negotiate with the second highest bidder.
French firm Engie, Japanese firm Softbank and Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power, which has won a number of large projects in the region, were among the last five shortlisted bidders.
Prices for solar power are very low in the Middle East. The Gulf states have seen record solar prices in recent times.
In November, neighboring Abu Dhabi emirate Dubai claimed the record with a 1.7 cent deal with ACWA Power for the next 900 megawatts of its Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum solar park. Installation began in 2013 with 13 megawatts of First Solar panels and is aiming for a target of 5 gigawatts by 2030.
In January, Qatar fell further with an offer of 1.6 cents per kilowatt hour. This project was won by the French oil company Total and the Japanese conglomerate Marubeni.
Today, three months later, the record is expected to pass in the United Arab Emirates.
In tenders in the Middle East and North Africa region, it is often found that the state takes majority ownership of the project. In the case of Al Dhafra, the winners will retain a 40% stake and receive a 30-year PPA contract that includes construction, procurement and operation and maintenance tasks.
There are many factors behind the steadily declining prices of solar power in the Middle East, including large solar resources, large, flat, virtually zero sites, cheap large-scale land costs, and the cheap financing that comes with it. a 30-year PPA.
JinkoSolar and EDF both have extensive experience in the United Arab Emirates. Jinko developed the 1.2 gigawatt Noor Abu Dhabi project in partnership with Marubeni, which went live last year.
EDF has partnered with UAE energy company and investor Masdar on a variety of projects, from the deployment of solar thermal energy in North Africa to an energy services company serving the entire region.
Important orders for the solar sector affected by the coronavirus.
So far, large solar tenders in the Middle East have continued despite the current crises affecting the energy sector. Saudi Arabia currently has its own tender for 1.2 gigawatt solar power. First Solar, ACWA Power, Jinko, EDF and Marubeni are among the participants (PDF).
For module sellers, these monstrous offers can fill an important gap in their order books. The global module market is entering a situation of overproduction as Chinese factories rebound, even as many key markets remain stranded.
A recent World Solar Council survey of inverter and module manufacturers found that 40% of companies surveyed saw their orders drop 50-100% from last year due to COVID-19.