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Masdar reaches financial close on three Uzbek solar projects

Construction will begin in the first half of 2023 on the solar projects, which have a combined capacity of around 900MW

Abu Dhabi’s Future Energy Company, Masdar has achieved a financial close on three solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in Uzbekistan. 

Construction will begin immediately on the plants, which will have a combined capacity of around 900mw, the firm said in a statement. 

Financing for the projects is being provided by the Asian Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and European Investment Bank. 

The Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank, FMO and ILX are acting as B loan participants.

Niall Hannigan, chief financial officer, Masdar, said that the company is already playing a significant role in supporting the Uzbekistan government’s ambitious renewable energy objectives.

“We look forward to continuing to grow our portfolio of projects in this key strategic market,” he added.

Masdar signed an agreement during last year’s Cop27 climate conference to join Irena’s energy transition accelerator financing (Etaf) platform, to potentially deploy up to $200 million equity investment on renewable energy projects. 

Masdar and AIIB have committed capital to the Uzbekistan projects under the Etaf initiative, 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 JSC National Electric Grid to design, finance, build and operate three utility-scale solar projects – the 457mw Sherabad solar project, and Samarkand and Jizzakh solar projects, which have a capacity of 220mw each. 

Combined, the projects will produce enough electricity to power more than one million homes, while displacing more than one million tonnes of CO2 emissions yearly. 

The projects are likely to begin operations in 2024, the statement said.

Masdar has been operating the 100mw Nur Navoi Solar project – Uzbekistan’s first independent power producer solar project – since 2021. 

Last year, Masdar achieved financial close on the 500mw Zarafshan wind project, the central Asian nation’s first utility-scale wind farm.

At the end of 2022, Masdar won 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.