Abu Dhabi-based company, Masdar, has announced that it has achieved financial close on three solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in Uzbekistan, with a combined capacity of around 900 megawatts. The program is considered the largest solar development in the region. The construction of the plants is set to begin soon, following the financing agreement signed with the Asian Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank, FMO, and ILX, which are providing the required funding.
The Uzbekistan projects are part of the Energy Transition Accelerator Financing (ETAF) platform, which targets the deployment of 5 gigawatts of new renewable power in developing countries by 2030. Masdar and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank have already committed capital to the Uzbekistan projects under the ETAF initiative. Masdar signed an agreement during COP27 in 2022 to join IRENA’s ETAF platform, with the intention of potentially deploying up to $200 million equity investment on renewable energy projects.
The three utility-scale solar projects, the Sherabad Solar Project, the Samarkand, and the Jizzakh solar projects, are expected to begin operations in 2024. The projects will produce enough electricity to power over one million homes and displace more than one million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually. Uzbekistan is targeting the development of 7 GW of solar and 5 GW of wind capacity by 2030, with a goal of meeting 25 percent of its electricity needs from renewable sources by that year.
Masdar is already making an active contribution to Uzbekistan’s clean energy objectives, with the 100 MW Nur Navoi Solar project, the nation’s first successfully financed independent power producer solar project, that has been operational since 2021. Last year, Masdar achieved financial close on the 500 MW Zarafshan wind project, Uzbekistan’s first utility-scale wind farm, and the largest in Central Asia. At the end of 2022, Masdar was awarded the Bukhara Solar PV project, which includes 250 MW solar PV capacity and a 62 MW battery energy storage system.