Abu Dhabi’s 2 GW Al Dhafra Solar Project Records World’s Lowest Tariff of $0.0135/kWh

The set tariff is based on the levelized electricity cost


The Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC), a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Power Corporation (ADPower), has received the lowest ever tariff for its 2 GW solar project. The record low tariff globally was recorded at AED 0.0497 ($0.0135)/kWh.

The Al Dhafra solar PV project is expected to power approximately 160,000 households across the UAE.

In its press release, the company said that AD Power’s subsidiary, EWEC, delivered a virtual read-out of five consortia’s technical and commercial bids for the 2 GW solar independent power producer (IPP) project in Abu Dhabi.

The project will be almost double the size of the approximately 1.2 GW Noor Abu Dhabi solar project – one of the largest operational solar PV projects in the world – which commenced commercial operations in April 2019.

The set tariff is on a Levelized Electricity Cost (LEC) basis and is approximately 44% lower than the tariff set three years ago on the Noor Abu Dhabi project. The Noor project had attracted a tariff of AED 0.08888 ($0.0242)/kWh.

According to the statement, once operational, the Al Dhafra Solar PV project will lift Abu Dhabi’s total solar power generation capacity to approximately 3.2 GW. This will reduce the Emirate’s carbon emissions by more than 3.6 million metric tons per year – equal to removing around 720,000 cars from the road.

Jasim Husain Thabet, chief executive officer AD Power, said, “The water and electricity sector intends to play a critical role in meeting the target of having 50% of Abu Dhabi’s energy needs served from renewable and clean energy sources by 2030, as well as the reduction of the generation system’s average carbon intensity by more than 70%, compared to 2015. The Al Dhafra Solar PV project will play a critical role in delivering these ambitions.”

The Al Dhafra solar PV project will include the financing, construction, operation, and maintenance of the solar project, including the installation of solar PV modules, inverters, connection to the transmission network, and associated facilities, the company added.

Othman Al Ali, chief executive officer of EWEC, said, “The Al Dhafra Solar PV project represents a major milestone in EWEC’s ambitious and strategic shift towards clean power generation in the Emirate. The cost-competitiveness of the bids received is truly remarkable – positioning Abu Dhabi as one of the world’s most attractive markets for solar energy development and reinforcing the economic benefits now achievable through renewable technologies. Securing such competitive tariffs on our energy projects is fundamental to support economic growth across all sectors in the UAE. We look forward to signing the Power Purchase Agreement and to delivering the project in Q2 2022.”

In February 2019, the Emirates Water and Electricity Company had invited expressions of interest for the development of a 2 GW solar power project at Al Dafra, 50 kilometers from Abu Dhabi.

In July 2019, EWEC received 48 expressions of interest from potential bidders for the Al Dhafra Solar PV project, out of which 24 bidders were qualified to bid for the project after submitting Statements of Qualification. In November 2019, five bids were received for both the Al Dhafra Solar PV projects.

Due to the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Emirates Water & Electricity Company had previously postponed the planned public opening of the commercial tariffs for the 1.5 GW Al-Dhafra solar project, as previously reported by Mercom.

Image credit: Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV)

Anjana is a news editor at Mercom India. Before joining Mercom, she held roles of senior editor, district correspondent, and sub-editor for The Times of India, Biospectrum and The Sunday Guardian. Before that, she worked at the Deccan Herald and the Asianlite as chief sub-editor and news editor. She has also contributed to The Quint, Hindustan Times, The New Indian Express, Reader’s Digest (UK edition), IndiaSe (Singapore-based magazine) and Asiaville. Anjana holds a Master’s degree in Geography from North Bengal University, and a diploma in mass communication and journalism from Guru Ghasidas University, Bhopal.