UAE’s Masdar has signed an agreement with the Government of Armenia to develop a 200-megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) plant. The Ayg-1 project will be Armenia’s largest utility-scale solar plant, the Abu Dhabi-based company said.
The Government Support Agreement (GSA) was signed by Armenia’s Territorial Administration and Infrastructure Minister Gnel Sanosyan and Masdar CEO Mohamed Jameel Al Ramah on November 26 in Yerevan.
“The gradual increase of renewable sources in our country’s energy system is one of the priorities set by the Government of Armenia,” Sanosyan said. We regard this cooperation with Masdar as an important step towards this goal, as well as towards endorsing Armenia’s investment potential. The Ayg-1 industrial 200 MW solar plant project is a milestone on this road. We expect the signing of this document to mark the start of a fruitful and lasting cooperation on this and for new upcoming projects,” he added.
The Ayg-1 project will be developed on a design, finance, build, own, and operate basis and the project company will be 85 percent owned by Masdar, with the Armenian National Interests Fund (ANIF), a government-owned investment vehicle, holding 15 percent. In July, the Armenian Government announced that Masdar was the winning bidder for the project, having submitted a tariff of $0.0290 per per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in a competitive process, Masdar said.
For his part, the Masdar CEO said this agreement marks a milestone on Armenia’s clean energy journey, and the development of this project will support the nation’s sustainable economic development. “We look forward to working with the Armenian National Interests Fund on further opportunities in this field, and leveraging the experience we have gained as a global leader in renewable energy projects to support the diversification of Armenia’s energy mix,” he said.
The Ayg-1 plant will be located between the Talin and Dashtadem communities of Armenia, in an area where solar radiation is high and land is unusable for agricultural purposes. The plant will span over 500 hectares, and will create numerous direct and indirect jobs.
Armenia is looking to increase the share of renewables in its energy mix and reduce its dependence on imported oil & gas. The country also has significant solar energy potential, with an average annual solar energy flow per square meter of horizontal surface of around 1,720 kWh, compared with the average European figure of 1,000 kWh.