ACWA Power breaks ground on 100MW wind project in Uzbekistan

The Nukus wind project, being developed by Saudi's ACWA Power, is a key part of Uzbekistan’s plans to diversify its energy mix

ACWA Power has broken ground on the 100MW Nukus wind project in Uzbekistan.

In a statement, the Saudi developer said that the ground-breaking comes less than two months after binding project agreements were signed with the Uzbek government and JSC National Electric Grid (NEGU), the off taker.

The Nukus win project has a total investment of US$108mn and is located in the Karatau district, in the Karakalpakstan region in the north-western part of the country. It is expected to reach financial close by Q3 2022.

“Uzbekistan has been working closely with the IFIs to open up the country’s power sector to private investment and to help us reach our goal of 25% of energy consumption deriving from renewable sources by 2026. We have a huge variety of projects underway, and already completed. Uzbekistan is committed to policy goals to improve energy efficiency and increase renewable energy’s share of the country’s energy mix,” said Alisher Sultanov, Minister of Energy of Uzbekistan.

The Uzbek government has plans to diversify the country’s energy mix and is targeting 8 GW of solar and wind capacity by 2026, Sultanov added.

The Nukus wind project marks the republic’s first open, competitive tender in the wind energy sector. ACWA Power won the bid after proposing a tariff of US$2.5695 cents/kwh, which was the lowest in a tender process that included 11 other bidders.

Nukus wind project supports Uzbekistan energy sector's vision

The Nukus wind project comprises Wind Turbine Generators (WTG) using advanced design and technical features. Each WTG will have a capacity of generating more than 5MW of electricity. Furthermore, ACWA Power said that it will also endeavour to give local advisory, manufacturing, and manpower firms an opportunity to participate in the project.

The Nukus wind project is ACWA Power’s fourth facility in the Republic of Uzbekistan. Its in-country portfolio also includes a combined cycle gas turbine plant, and two wind projects. When this project achieves commercial operation in 2024, it will contribute 1.25% to Uzbekistan’s overall renewable energy goals. Additionally, the facility is expected to power 120,000 Uzbek households and offset 200,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per year.

“Laying the cornerstone of the Nukus plant shortly after the signing of the official purchase agreements is an affirmation to support the ambitious vision of the leadership of the Republic of Uzbekistan to enhance the potential of the Uzbek energy sector,” said Mohammad Abunayyan, ACWA Power Chairman.

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