Abu Dhabi's power utility is building a 350 megawatt (MW) solar plant, two sources said on Tuesday, its first renewable project and part of a plan to produce seven percent of the emirates' power from renewables by 2020.
State-owned Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (Adwea) is aiming to select a developer by mid 2016 for the project at Sweihan, east of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, the sources told Reuters.
Oil-rich Abu Dhabi's green energy company Masdar has launched some renewable energy projects, including solar plants in the emirate, but this will be Adwea's first foray beyond its 11 gas-fired, independent water and power projects (IWPPs).
"Adwea has just embarked on the process to select a developer for the solar photovoltaic project, which is aimed to be finalised by the middle of next year," one source familiar with the matter said.
The developer will take a 40 percent stake in the greenfield project with 60 percent held by Adwea, the source said.
The sources declined to be named as they are not authorised to speak to the media. Adwea representatives could not immediately be reached for comment.
Adwea's power plants have sufficient capacity to meet peak summer demand now, but with power needs expected to grow about 15 percent a year to reach some 21,000 MW by 2020, Abu Dhabi needs to build more generation capacity.
The emirate is also building nuclear power plants, with its first reactor scheduled for commissioning in 2017.For all the latest energy and oil news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.