Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company PJSC (Masdar) of the UAE has signed agreements for solar and onshore wind projects with a total capacity of 1 GW in Azerbaijan. The strategic agreements cover the first phase of a 10-GW pipeline of renewable energy projects in Azerbaijan signed in June 2022.
The agreements follow the inauguration of the region’s largest operational solar plant, the 230-MW Garadagh Solar Park. It is Azerbaijan’s first foreign investment-based independent solar power project.
According to these agreements, construction projects for solar power plants will be established in the village of Bank in the Neftchala region and in the village of Gunesh in the Bilasuvar region, along with a wind power plant in the Absheron-Garadagh region. The power distribution from these stations will be as follows: the Neftchala solar power plant will have a 315-MW capacity, the Bilasuvar plant 445-MW, and the wind farm 240-MW.
Garadagh solar power plant, worth $250mn, is set to electrify 110,000 apartments, conserve 110mn cubic metres of gas yearly, and diminish carbon dioxide emissions by 265,000 tonnes annually. The Garadagh solar power plant is a pivotal step in reducing Azerbaijan's reliance on thermal energy and meets its RES development goals. The facility will also increase the country's installed RES capacity from 16.5% to 21.2%.
The inauguration of Garadagh was overseen by President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan and Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE's minister of industry and advanced technology, COP28 president-designate and chairman of Masdar.
Al Jaber said: “Garadagh is a testament to our shared commitment to diversifying the global energy mix. Azerbaijan’s ambition to develop low and zero-carbon solutions through renewable energy is exactly what the world needs at this time.
The UAE is proud to support Azerbaijan’s clean energy goals, to generate more than 30% of its overall energy capacity from renewables by 2030. We need all nations of the world to set out clear energy transition plans with clear targets for renewable energy capacity.”
He called for keeping the ambition of limiting global temperatures to 1.5C within reach.
HE Parviz Shahbazov, Azerbaijan Minister of Energy, commented: “The commissioning of the largest solar power plant based on the first foreign investment in our energy history, as well as the signing of investment agreements for the implementation of solar and wind energy projects with a capacity of 1 GW, show that our country's green energy and green investment plans are successfully becoming a reality.
“Azerbaijan is pleased to realise its strategic goals as a green energy producing and exporting country with Masdar and these projects will play an important role in increasing the share of renewable energy sources in electricity generation capacity to 30% by 2030.”
The Garadagh plant is co-financed by Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).