UAE's W Solar plans to add 2 GW of solar in Libya

Solar panels. Author: John S. Quarterman. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

June 27 (Renewables Now) - W Solar Investment, a subsidiary of UAE-based Alpha Dhabi Holding, is planning to build solar photovoltaic (PV) plants in Libya as part of a partnership with the state-owned General Electricity Company of Libya (GECOL), targeting the deployment of 2 GW of solar capacity in the long term.

The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Monday that envisages the installation of 500 MW in the first phase of the programme.

W Solar will own and operate the plants for 25 years from the start of production and will sell the solar electricity to the Libyan government.

"This is a landmark agreement for W Solar as we look to grow our operations in Africa and establish long-term relationships with key partners," said W Solar's chief executive Zafar Muhammad.

Commenting on the partnership, GECOL's chairman Weam Elabdelie said: "There's no doubt that the MoU with W Solar is important to the economic reform for the renewable energy sector in Libya. The Libyan Government has been showing a serious intention to develop renewable energy. As we get on with unleashing investments in the renewable energy sector, having a partner like W Solar will definitely help accelerate the national green energy agenda."

The deal with W Solar comes on the heels of another large-scale solar project in the North African country that was launched earlier this month. A 500-MW solar park will be built in the northern region of As-Saddadah by French multi-energy group TotalEnergies SE (EPA:TTE) in cooperation with GECOL. It is the first and largest of its kind in Libya, according to the state-owned power company.

Libya seeks to raise the share of renewables in electricity generation to 22% by 2030 and the government is working on a plan for the development of renewable energy to tap the potential of solar and wind power across the country.

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