TAQA-led group achieves fin close on 2-GW solar project in Abu Dhabi
Noor Abu Dhabi, largest single solar plant in the world
The consortium led by Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) has reached financial close for the 2-GW Al Dhafra photovoltaic (PV) project in Abu Dhabi, which would be the world’s largest single-site solar plant.
TAQA’s partners in the project are the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, better known as Masdar, EDF Renewables and Jinko Power HK, a unit of Jinko Power Technology Co Ltd. Other than TAQA, which has a 40% interest, the partners each hold 20% stakes in Al Dhafra PV.
The shareholders group has obtained USD 1 billion (EUR 821m) in project financing from seven international lenders, with BNP Paribas acting as bookrunner. The mandated lead arrangers are Bank of China, Credit Agricole, HSBC, MUFG, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Standard Chartered.
In late July, the group of shareholders inked a 30-year power purchase agreement (PPA) for the project with Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC) at a record-low tariff of AED 0.0497 (USD 0.0135/EUR 0.0111) per kWh. According to TAQA, the tariff has declined even further upon financial closing to AED 0.0485/MWh, mainly thanks to hedging and financing cost improvements.
The plant will be built on 20 sq km (7.72 sq miles) of desert climate area, where more than 4 million PV modules utilising crystalline, bifacial solar technology will be installed. It is expected to be completed in 2022. The annual output of the facility is estimated to meet the consumption of over 160,000 local households.