The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC) has invited developers to submit expressions of interest (EOIs) to develop a 1.5GW solar photovoltaic (PV) project in Abu Dhabi.

The Al Ajban Solar PV project would be developed in the Ajban area of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Once operational, the solar project will have the capacity to power nearly 160,000 homes across the UAE while displacing more than 2.4 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year.

The project is part of the UAE Energy Strategy 2050 and UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiatives.

The selected company or consortium will be responsible for the development, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of the project.

The project developer will own a 40% stake in the entity, with the remaining 60% stake to be held indirectly by the Abu Dhabi Government.

In addition, the selected company will also need to execute a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with EWEC, under which EWEC will be entitled to pay only for the net power supplied by the plant.

EWEC CEO Othman Al Ali said: “Our strategic investments in solar power have seen us develop Noor Abu Dhabi, the world’s current largest single-site solar power plant, and Al Dhafra Solar PV, which will be the world’s new largest single-site solar power plant once commercially operational.

“With Al Ajban Solar PV, which will be similar in size and capacity output to Al Dhafra Solar PV, Abu Dhabi and the UAE will have the three largest, world-leading solar power plants, increasing the diversification of our energy production portfolio, and significantly advancing the decarbonisation of the energy sector.

“We are delighted to invite expressions of interest from developer or developer consortiums for the Al Ajban Solar PV project.”

EWEC has set 27 May as its deadline for receiving EOIs. The next stage in the process will be to invite requests for qualifications (RFQs).