Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Energy has announced the third batch of solar photovoltaic public-private partnership (PPP) projects under the Uzbek Solar program in the first quarter of 2021.
The project is part of the 1 GW solar program mandate of the International Finance Corporation (IFC). Projects under the mandate will be structured and implemented based on the successful Uzbek Solar Round 1 -100 MW solar park in Navoi, closed in December 2020.
The Uzbek government had announced tenders for solar projects with a cumulative capacity of 1.4 GW in July this year. Under the first tender, 1 GW of solar projects was to be developed with the Asian Development Bank’s support. A site located in the Sherabad district of the Surkhandarya region was selected for the project. Under the second tender, 400 MW of projects were to be developed. In the first 1 GW tender announced earlier this year, Indian energy conglomerate NTPC and ReNew Power made it to the list of prequalified bidders.
Under the latest tender, the project is expected to consist of three lots with a total capacity of 500 MW under the ‘Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Maintain’ model to be developed by private partners. One of the lots will also include a battery storage component.
The selected private partners will be compensated with a fixed tariff for their electricity sale through a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) signed with the state-owned electricity off-taker. A government support agreement will also be provided to the private partner.
The project will be located in the Bukhara (~250 MW + battery storage), Namangan (~150 MW), and Khorezm region (~ 100 MW).
Uzbek Minister of Energy, Alisher Sultanov, said: “Following the success of Uzbek Solar 1 and high interest in Uzbek Solar 2, we are happy to announce that the start of this new project is planned for February 2021, which shows that we are firmly on our way to new, sustainable, clean and diversified energy production in Uzbekistan. We want to thank the IFC for their support as lead advisor in structuring and tendering of up to 500 MW solar PV projects in the Bukhara, Namangan, and Khorezm regions.”
Over the next five years, the Uzbek government estimates that more than $2.8 billion will be required to upgrade existing power infrastructure while adding new power generation could cost $14.4 billion. The government aims to reduce the burden on the state budget and enhance the flow of technology and know-how. It is looking to attract global investors to the sector which did not allow foreign investments until recently.
Last year, Masdar (or Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company) had announced that it had won the bid to develop Uzbekistan’s first public- PPP solar project under the International Finance Corporation’s Scaling Solar program. Masdar will develop a 100 MW utility-scale solar project, which will be located in Uzbekistan’s Navoi region.
Rahul is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Before entering the world of renewables, Rahul was head of the Gujarat bureau for The Quint. He has also worked for DNA Ahmedabad and Ahmedabad Mirror. Hailing from a banking and finance background, Rahul has also worked for JP Morgan Chase and State Bank of India. More articles from Rahul Nair.