Abu Dhabi-based utility Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC) sees a need for a sevenfold increase in the total solar generation capacity to 7.3 GW and the development of at least 300 MW of battery energy storage systems (BESS) by 2030.
The recommendations were made in the latest Statement of Future Capacity Requirements 2023-2029: Summary Report for Abu Dhabi’s future water and electricity production which was approved by the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy.
The report projects that 3 GWac of solar power should be deployed by 2029 on top of the 1.5 GWac of solar from the Al Ajban Solar PV project which is planned to reach commercial operations in 2026.
EWEC is now in the process of tendering the Al Ajban scheme with proposals expected by the end of the first quarter of 2023. This is the third large-scale solar project tendered by EWEC following the 1.2-GW Noor Abu Dhabi solar park, which began commercial operation in April 2019, and the 2-GW Al Dhafra PV2 solar project which is under construction in Abu Dhabi.
In addition, the significant expansion of solar should be combined with the installation of at least 300 MW of battery capacity with a one-hour depth of storage by 2026. This will improve the overall network stability.
In the report, EWEC noted that the implementation of all these renewable and clean energy projects will help it cut its average carbon dioxide intensity from power generation to 0.19kg/kWh by 2029 from 0.33 kg/kWh in 2019.
According to the utility's estimates, gross peak power demand is expected to grow from 16.7 GW in 2022 to 21.6 GW in 2029.
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