By Sam Bridge
First project planned under the deal is a 200MW utility-scale solar photovoltaic plant in the west of Armenia
Masdar, the UAE-based renewable energy companies, has entered into a formal agreement with the Armenian National Interests Fund (ANIF) to develop solar power projects with a total capacity of 400 megawatts in Armenia.
The deal represents an investment of up to $320 million into the Armenian economy, state news agency WAM reported.
Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar, and David Papazian, CEO of ANIF, a state-owned foreign direct investment vehicle, signed the joint development agreement in Abu Dhabi.
The ceremony follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding in July between Masdar and ANIF for the origination, development, construction, operation and maintenance of renewable power plants, including fixed and floating solar PV and wind energy.
The first project planned under the deal is a 200MW utility-scale solar photovoltaic plant in the west of Armenia that will produce electricity from both direct and reflected sunlight.
Armenia has pledged to generate 30 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025 and has the potential to integrate as much as 1,000MW of solar energy. Today it has around 2,800MW of installed power capacity, evenly distributed between nuclear, hydro and thermal generation from imported natural gas.
"It is a great honour to sign this agreement today with our colleagues at the Armenian National Interests Fund, in the presence of President Sarkissian and our leadership at Mubadala, to reaffirm our commitment to Armenia and the achievement of its renewable energy goals," said Al Ramahi.
"Armenia is a fast-growing economy with an increasingly open and supportive environment for inward investment," added Al Ramahi. "That is an important reason why we have been able to move forward in our partnership with ANIF so swiftly."
Armenia has small and mid-size solar PV plants already in operation, with a combined capacity of 50MW, another 250MW worth of solar projects licenced for construction, and a total of 700MW planned.
"Masdar and ANIF are making good on their promise to deliver industrial-scale renewable energy projects in Armenia," said Papazian. "Our two teams have gelled as a single unit over the past few months, and I am happy to report that we have sent a highly competitive written proposal to the Government of Armenia which outlines the details of the 400MW of solar PV that we are jointly proposing."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.