United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based clean energy company Masdar and SOCAR, the state oil company of Azerbaijan, have begun construction on three solar and wind projects in Azerbaijan with a combined capacity of 1GW.

The ground-breaking of the projects took place at the opening ceremony of Baku Energy Week in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Investment agreements for the three projects, the 445MW Bilasuvar solar project, the 315MW Neftchala solar project and the 240MW Absheron-Garadagh onshore wind project, were finalised in October 2023, leading to the signing of power purchase, transmission connection and land lease agreements.

Masdar and SOCAR have also signed a shareholder agreement for the projects on the sidelines of Baku Energy Week.

UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Masdar chairman Dr Sultan Al Jaber stated: “We are proud to partner with Azerbaijan on this significant expansion of its renewable energy capacity and to support Azerbaijan’s journey toward energy diversification, stimulating new industries, new jobs and sustainable economic growth.

“A key pillar of the historic UAE Consensus is the goal of tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030. We need many more partnerships like these to ensure a just, orderly and equitable energy transition that keeps 1.5 [degrees of global heating] within reach.”

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Azerbaijan Minister of Economy and SOCAR supervisory board chairman Mikayil Jabbarov stated: “Today’s groundbreaking of Masdar’s and SOCAR’s jointly developed solar and wind projects represents a significant milestone in Azerbaijan’s energy journey. These initiatives underscore our commitment to diversify our energy sources and advance our sustainable development goals.

“Our partnership with Masdar exemplifies the forward-thinking and collaborative spirit necessary to drive impactful change in the energy sector. Together, we are setting a new standard for green energy projects that will benefit our economy, environment and society for generations to come.”

In May 2024 Masdar, alongside Infinity Power and Hassan Allam Utilities, secured a land access agreement with the Egyptian government for a 10GW onshore wind project.

The agreement provides the consortium with access to an area of 3,025km² in West Suhag, Egypt, allowing development studies to begin.

The wind farm, valued at $10bn, will be one of the largest in the world.

In the same month, Masdar entered into a partnership with Bahrain’s Bapco Energies to assess the feasibility of developing wind projects in Bahrain, potentially adding another 2GW to the region’s renewable energy capacity.