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Masdar achieves financial close on three solar projects in Uzbekistan

Construction will begin imminently on the plants, which will have a combined capacity of around 900MW – the largest solar development programme in the region. (Image source: Masdar)

Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company PJSC – Masdar, one of the world’s leading clean energy companies, has achieved financial close on three solar photovoltaic (PV) projects it is developing in the Republic of Uzbekistan 

The plants will have a combined capacity of around 900MW – the largest solar development programme in the region.  

Niall Hannigan, chief financial officer, Masdar, said, “Masdar is already playing a significant role in supporting the Government of Uzbekistan’s ambitious renewable energy objectives, and we look forward to continuing to grow our portfolio of projects in this key strategic market. This achievement would not have been possible without the support of the Government of Uzbekistan, and the International Renewable Energy Agency, as well as our financial partners, who have demonstrated unwavering commitment to driving sustainable economic growth for the people of Uzbekistan.” 

Masdar signed an agreement during last year’s COP27 climate conference to join IRENA’s Energy Transition Accelerator Financing (ETAF) platform, with the intention of potentially deploying up to US$200mn equity investment on renewable energy projects. Masdar and AIIB have committed capital to the Uzbekistan projects under the ETAF initiative. ETAF is a multi-stakeholder climate finance platform, targeting the deployment of 5GW of new renewable power in developing countries by 2030.

In 2021, Masdar signed agreements with Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Investments, Industry and Trade, and the JSC National Electric Grid to design, finance, build and operate three utility-scale solar projects – the 457MW Sherabad Solar Project, and the Samarkand and Jizzakh solar projects, which have a capacity of 220MW each. Combined, the projects will produce enough electricity to power more than 1 million homes, while displacing more than 1 million tonnes of CO2 emissions each year. The projects are expected to begin operations in 2024.  

Masdar is already making an active contribution to Uzbekistan’s clean energy objectives, with the 100MW Nur Navoi Solar project – the nation’s first successfully financed independent power producer solar project – having been operational since 2021. Last year, Masdar achieved financial close on the 500MW Zarafshan wind project, Uzbekistan’s first utility-scale wind farm, and the largest in Central Asia. At the end of last year, Masdar was also awarded the Bukhara Solar PV project, which includes 250MW solar PV capacity and a 62MW battery energy storage system. 

Uzbekistan is targeting the development of 7GW of solar and 5GW of wind capacity by 2030, as it looks to meet 25% of its electricity needs from renewable sources by that year.