World’s Largest Single-Site Solar Project Commissioned at Sweihan, Abu Dhabi

The project has been completed with a whopping $871.2 million investment


Noor Abu Dhabi, the world’s largest single-site solar power project located at Sweihan which has an installed capacity of 1,177 MW, has been successfully commissioned.

The project is a Joint Venture (JV) between the government of Abu Dhabi and a consortium comprising Japan’s Marubeni Corporation and China’s Jinko Solar Holding, according to a statement from the consortium partner Marubeni.

The joint venture has an equity holding of 20% by Marubeni Corporation Japan, another 20% by China’s Jinko solar, and the state-owned Abu Dhabi Power Corporation holding the controlling equity of 60%.

The full power generated from the Sweihan project will be sold to the Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC) through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for 25 years.

The mega solar power project is expected to reduce carbon emissions by one million metric tons in a year and cater to the electricity demands of about 90,000 people. The project is the culmination of the United Arab Emirate’s (UAE) energy strategy 2050, which was launched back in 2017.

The UAE is poised to increase the share of renewable energy in its energy mix up to 50% by 2050, therefore reducing the carbon footprint of power generation from the use of natural gas by 70%.

The Noor Abu Dhabi has been built at a whopping cost of Dh 3.2 billion ($871.2 million) and consists of more than 3.2 million solar PV panels. The project has attracted the world’s most competitive tariff of 8.888 fils ($0.0242)/kWh.

The loan agreement for the project was signed in May of 2017, with co-financing among eight commercial banks including, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Limited (currently renamed to MUFG Bank), Norinchukin Bank and Banking Corporation, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation. The construction for the project began on schedule and was completed within 23 months as originally planned, according to the press statement.

Back in 2017, Mercom had reported about Sterling & Wilson winning an engineering procurement and construction (EPC) bid to develop this 1,177 MW solar project in Sweihan in the Emirates of Abu Dhabi.

Earlier this year, the EWEC, invited expressions of interest for the development of 2 GW of solar power projects at Al Dafra, 50 kilometers from Abu Dhabi.

Last year, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) had committed $50 million for renewable energy projects that are recommended by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The ADFD and IRENA had invited applications for more than $50 million in funding through the IRENA-ADFD project facility.

Image credit: EWEC, Abu Dhabi