For those measuring the bid price index of recent solar electricity bids, add Abu Dhabi as the new low price leader.
PV Tech reports this current bid — 2.42¢/kWh for the planned 350 MW solar plant in Sweihan, in the United Arab Emirates — ranks 17% lower than the tariff awarded to Solarpack in Chile in August.
As for specifics, an Asian consortium including China-based PV manufacturer JinkoSolar and Japanese conglomerate Marubeni Corporation submitted the lowest ever bid.
The Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA) received 6 bids concerning its tender for 350 MW of capacity in the Sweihan Solar Park.
ADWEA said the bids are now “subject to the advisors’ further review and verification over the next few weeks of the due diligence process which may result in changes.”
Here were the top bids:
- Marubeni/JinkoSolar $0.0242/kWh
- Masdar $0.02533/kWh
- Tenaga/Phelan Energy $0.02598/kWh
- RWE/B-Electric $0.02919/kWh
- JGC/First Solar/Sojitz $0.03088/kWh
- Kepco/Q CELLS/GSE $0.03635/kWh
Under the proposed terms of the Sweihan solar project, successful developers will own up to 40% of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) and participate in its development. The remaining equity will be held by ADWEA.
Writing for CleanTechnica, Tina Casey has reported on the recent success of solar energy in this petroleum-rich region of the world:
“When one of the world’s largest concentrating solar power plants rose from the desert sands in the Western Region of the Abu Dhabi Emirate back in 2013, more than a few heads exploded. Aside from being the site of much of the Emirate’s oil and gas reserves, the western desert is a harsh environment for massive, precisely engineered renewable energy facilities, and concentrating solar technology still has yet to prove its competitiveness in the general market. However, in its first year of operation, the so-named Shams 1 plant beat expectations by a wide margin, and its second year figures are also better than predicted.”
The National said the two firms had also offered to expand the solar park to 1,170 MW with an even lower tariff of just $0.0230/kWh.
This represents a significant price point in the development of future solar electricity projects.
“Many large developers — including Italy’s Enel, TSK, ACWA, Abdul Latif Jameel, and Engie — reportedly pulled out of the Abu Dhabi tender due to expected high competition and concern over a drastic drop in prices,” Cleantechies writes.