ACWA Power, a leading Saudi developer, investor, and operator of power generation, water desalination and green hydrogen plants worldwide, has signed yesterday three Power Purchase Agreements and Investment Agreements with Uzbekistan’s Joint-Stock Company (JSC) National Electric Grid of Uzbekistan (NEGU) and Ministry of Investment, Industry and Trade.
The agreements include the development of three solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in Tashkent and Samarkand and three Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) in Tashkent, Bukhara and Samarkand, with a total capacity of 1.4 GW of additional renewable energy and 1.5 GWh of additional battery storage capacity. The Tashkent projects will include a 400 MW PV plant and 500 MWh BESS, while two 500 MW PV projects each and a 500 MWh BESS will be developed in Samarkand. Another 500 MWh BESS will be located in Bukhara, and the project will include overhead transmission lines to help dispatch power to the grid.
The projects will play an instrumental role in achieving Uzbekistan’s ambitious targets to transition to a low-carbon economy as well as diversify its energy sources. The Republic’s targets to reform the energy sector entail generating 35% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, equating to 15,000 MW divided into 10,000 MW of solar power and 5,000 MW of wind power. Achieving this target will help offset 16 million tonnes of CO2 emissions a year.
By incorporating BESS into the grid, Uzbekistan will soon have the largest battery energy storage facilities in the region which will play a crucial role in stabilising the grid while promoting renewable energy in the Republic. The BESS will help to mitigate the effects of intermittency that are inherent in renewable energy sources. They will store excess electricity generated during times of high production and make it available during periods of low production. This will ensure a constant and reliable supply of electricity to the grid, ultimately helping to meet the growing demand for energy in Uzbekistan.
“We express our profound gratitude to the wise leadership of Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan for their unwavering support and guidance in driving Uzbekistan’s ambitious renewable energy goals. ACWA Power’s expertise in green hydrogen, green ammonia, and clean energy has greatly strengthened our collaboration with the Government of Uzbekistan. Our latest venture into Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) is a significant step forward in our partnership and a clear demonstration of our commitment to transform the energy landscape in the Republic,” says Mohammad Abunayyan, ACWA Power Chairman.
“As the driver of the largest BESS projects in the region, we are fully equipped to stabilise the grid and accelerate Uzbekistan’s renewable energy agenda. With our total investment commitments of US $7.5 billion in energy projects, we are determined to remain a key partner in achieving Uzbekistan’s energy diversification goals. ACWA Power is proud to be at the forefront of driving sustainable growth and powering a brighter future for Uzbekistan,” he added.
These projects have tremendous socio-economic benefits for Uzbekistan by providing power to over one million households in Tashkent, Samarkand and Bukhara and will offset around 1.6 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually.
The Investment Agreements were signed by the Ministry of Investment, Industry and Trade of Uzbekistan, and ACWA Power, while the Power Purchase Agreements were signed by the National Electric Grid of Uzbekistan JSC (NEGU) and ACWA Power.
During His Excellency President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in August 2022, ACWA Power signed with the Republic of Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Energy and Ministry of Investment, Industry and Trade an Investment Cooperation Agreement committing $10 billion of new investments in the next five years above the already committed $5 billion. The Tashkent, Samarkand and Bukhara PV, and BESS projects will contribute to $ 2.5 billion of new investments as part of the targeted $10 billion investment. The company also recently signed an extensive heads of terms agreements to develop a green hydrogen facility and a green ammonia pilot project in the Republic.
ACWA Power has five ongoing projects in Uzbekistan, including four wind projects and a combined gas cycle turbine facility. Uzbekistan is the second largest in terms of value for the company after its home market of Saudi Arabia.
Image source: Courtesy of ACWA Power
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