Masdar secures deal to develop ‘Armenia’s biggest utility scale solar project’

The UAE-based, state-owned renewables company had its original suggestion of a $0.0299/kWh price for the solar power generated refused by Yerevan, with the government putting the project out to a competitive tender. Masdar has won the bidding, but at a reduced energy tariff.

The Armenian government‘s decision to play hard-ball with emirati state-owned renewables developer Masdar has paid off to the tune of $0.0009 for each kilowatt-hour of clean energy to be generated by a planned 200 MW solar plant.

Having signed, in November 2019, a joint agreement with the developer to install 400 MW of clean power generation capacity in Armenia, the authorities in Yerevan were so unimpressed with Masdar’s suggestion of a $0.0299/kWh price for the power generated by the first project envisioned, that they put the bid out to tender. Masdar was, however, given the opportunity of undercutting the lowest bid produced by the tender by at least $0.001/kWh in order to land the deal.

Masdar, a subsidiary of UAE sovereign wealth fund the Mubadala Investment Company, has won the contract, it was announced today, but it will have to settle for $0.0290/kWh, with a joint press release issued by the two parties stating: “Further discussions are under way on the development of the remaining 200 MW” agreed in the joint development declaration.

Masdar and the Armenian National Interest Fund CJSC state entity which will hold a 15% stake in the solar park, today said the $174 million project will span more than 500ha in the Talin and Dashtadem communities, will involve construction of a new electricity substation, and will create “numerous direct and indirect jobs.”

The project was described by Masdar CEO Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi as “Armenia’s biggest utility scale solar project,” and by David Papazian, his peer at the Armenian state body, as “by far the largest single foreign investment in green energy in the region, and the second largest foreign direct investment in the history of modern Armenia.”

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