Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Energy has announced the winner of a tender to build two solar plants with a total generating capacity of more than 400MW.
The public-private partnership (PPP) schemes were won by Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, also known as Masdar, which specialises in renewable projects.
The projects will be located in the Jizzakh region, in the east of the country, and Samarkand. Both locations were important stations on the ancient Silk Road.
Alisher Sultanov, Uzbekistan’s energy minister, said the country was making huge strides towards producing and providing ‘green energy’ for its population, decreasing the country’s dependence on fossil fuels and reducing overall carbon dioxide emissions.
He added: "These projects are key components of our ambitious, wider energy strategy to develop environmentally friendly renewable sources of energy to meet growing electricity demand."
Masdar beat six other bidders for the Jizzakh site, and five for the Samarkand. It offered a bid of 1.8 cents per kilowatt hour for the schemes.
Partial funding for the projects is being provided by the World Bank. Uzbekistan has been working with the bank’s IFC division to open up its power sector to private investments.
The plants are part of a wider programme by Uzbekistan to develop 8GW of solar and wind capacity by 2030.
In 2018, Canadian solar developer SkyPower announced a $1.3bn investment in the country (see further reading).
Image: Jizzakh was once an important relay on the ancient Silk Road between China and Europe (Dreamstime)