Masdar has announced that it has arrived into a formal agreement with the Armenian National Interests Fund (ANIF) to develop solar power projects with a total capacity of 400 MW in Armenia.
Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar, and David Papazian, CEO of ANIF, a state-owned foreign direct investment vehicle, signed a joint development agreement in Abu Dhabi. The agreement follows the signing of an MoU in July between the two organisations for the origination, development, construction, operation and maintenance of renewable power plants, including fixed and floating solar photovoltaic and wind energy in the country.
The Asian nation has pledged to generate 30 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025 and has the potential to integrate as much as 1,000 MW of solar energy. At present, the country has around 2,800 MW of installed power capacity, evenly distributed between nuclear, hydro and thermal generation from imported natural gas.
The first project planned under the deal is a 200 MW utility-scale solar PV plant in the west of Armenia that will use cutting-edge bifacial technology to produce electricity from both direct and reflected sunlight.
Armenia receives an estimated 1,720kWh of solar energy per sqm, compared with an average of 1,000kWh per sqm in Europe. Many of Armenia’s 200-plus rivers and lakes are also suitable for floating solar power projects.
“It is a great honour to sign this agreement with our colleagues at the ANIF, in the presence of President Sarkissian and our leadership at Mubadala, to reaffirm our commitment to Armenia and the achievement of its renewable energy goals,” said Md. Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar.
“Armenia is a fast-growing economy with an increasingly open and supportive environment for inward investment,” added Al Ramahi. “That is an important reason why we have been able to move forward in our partnership with ANIF so swiftly.”
Armenia has small and mid-size solar PV plants already in operation, with a combined capacity of 50 MW, another 250 MW worth of solar projects licensed for construction, and a total of 700 MW planned.
“Masdar and ANIF are making good on their promise to deliver industrial-scale renewable energy projects in Armenia,” said David Papazian, CEO of ANIF. “Our two teams have gelled as a single unit over the past few months, and I am happy to report that we have sent a highly competitive written proposal to the Government of Armenia which outlines the details of the 400 MW of solar PV that we are jointly proposing.”