Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Energy has achieved financial close for a 500MW wind farm in the country’s Navoiy region.

Claimed to be Central Asia’s largest wind farm, the Zarafshan project will be built by Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy company Masdar.

The wind facility is expected to come online by the end of 2024.

Once operational, the wind farm will have the capacity to power 500,000 homes in the region and offset 1.1 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year.

Masdar CEO Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi said: “Today we are celebrating reaching a significant milestone in this landmark project, one that takes Uzbekistan a step closer to achieving its ambitious renewable energy goals.

“Uzbekistan is a key strategic investment destination for Masdar, and we look forward to continuing to develop and grow our strong portfolio of projects in the nation.”

Uzbekistan expects to receive more than $600m in foreign direct investment (FDI) as a result of the Zarafshan project.

The country has set a target to source 8GW of its power from solar and wind projects by 2026 and 12GW from renewable sources by 2030.

Its total energy demand is projected to increase from 74 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) to 110 billion kWh by the end of the decade.

Already active in Uzbekistan, Masdar has been contracted to develop a further 890MW of photovoltaic (PV) capacity in the Samarkand, Jizzakh and Sherabad regions over the coming years.

Last month, the company signed an agreement with the Tanzania Electric Supply Company to develop 2GW of renewable energy capacity in Tanzania.

Under this partnership, the two companies will create a co-owned joint venture (JV) to progress the project development.

The JV will initially focus on developing 600MW of capacity across solar PV and onshore wind assets. It will also explore opportunities for a further 2GW of renewable capacity.