Masdar, ANIF ink deal to develop 400MW solar projects in Armenia
The first project planned under the agreement is a 200MW utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in the west of Armenia
UAE-based global renewable energy company Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), which is fully owned by Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company, has signed an agreement with state-owned foreign direct investment platform Armenian National Interests Fund (ANIF) to develop solar power projects with a total capacity of 400 megawatts (MW) in Armenia.
The solar projects will see $300m (AED1.1bn) to $320m (AED1.175bn) in investments pumped into the Armenian economy.
The deal follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in July 2019 between Masdar and ANIF for the origination, development, construction, operation, and maintenance of renewable power plants, including fixed and floating solar PV and wind energy.
The first project planned under the agreement is a 200MW utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in the west of Armenia that will use bifacial technology to produce electricity from both direct and reflected sunlight.
On the sidelines of the #Mubadala Business Forum today at NYU Abu Dhabi, #Masdar and the Armenian National Interests Fund signed an agreement to develop #solar power projects in #Armenia. pic.twitter.com/JFsBDOO8LJ— Masdar (@Masdar) November 30, 2019
Armenia has pledged to generate 30% of electricity from renewable sources by 2025 and has the potential to integrate as much as 1,000MW of solar energy. It currently has approximately 2,800MW of installed power capacity, distributed between nuclear, hydro, and thermal generation from imported natural gas.
Armenia receives an estimated 1,720 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of solar energy per square metre, compared with an average of 1,000kWh per square metre in Europe. Many of Armenia’s rivers and lakes are also suitable for floating solar power projects.
The joint development agreement (JDA) was inked by chief executive officer of Masdar, Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, and the CEO of ANIF, David Papazian, at a private ceremony in Abu Dhabi.
The deal was inked in the presence of the President of the Republic of Armenia, HE Armen Sarkissian; the UAE Minister of Energy and Industry, Suhail Al Mazrouei; and CEO of Mubadala Investment Company, Khaldoon Al Mubarak.
Commenting on the agreement, Al Ramahi said: “As a global renewable energy leader active in more than 25 countries, and with a growing presence in Central Asia, Masdar has extensive experience in developing commercially successful projects in solar, wind, waste to energy and sustainable real estate.”
He added: “As today’s signing illustrates, we are eager to explore the many ways in which we can share this experience and expertise with our partners in Armenia, a country with considerable untapped potential for both solar and wind power.”
Armenia has 50MW of small and mid-size solar PV plants already in operation, with 250MW worth of solar projects licensed for construction, and a total of 700MW planned.
Sharing his thoughts on the deal, Papazian said: ““Masdar and ANIF are making good on their promise to deliver industrial-scale renewable energy projects in Armenia. Our two teams have gelled as a single unit over the past few months, and I am happy to report that we have sent a highly competitive written proposal to the Government of Armenia which outlines the details of the 400MW of solar PV that we are jointly proposing.”
A full member of the Masdar City-headquartered International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) since 2010, Armenia has pledged to generate more than a quarter of its domestic power needs from renewable sources. It hopes to cap its carbon emissions at 633 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent between 2015 and 2050.