The Azerbaijani Ministry of Energy and ACWA Power of Saudi Arabia held a groundbreaking ceremony for the 240 MW wind power plant that ACWA will build in the Asian country, with an investment value of $300 USD million.
ACWA builds, operates and invests in renewable energy plants and becomes the only renewables company listed in Saudi Arabia. It priced its IPO at the top of the range last year, successfully raising $1.2 billion USD from investors, the biggest since, but dwarfed by, Saudi Aramco’s $29.4 billion IPO.
Renewable energy sources are important for Azerbaijan. However, except for hydropower, few renewable energy sources are used. One of the best considered alternative sources for the small Asian country is wind energy.
The Saudi wind energy project represents the first and largest foreign investment made in Azerbaijan’s renewable energy sector to date and contributes to the country’s target to generate 30 percent of its energy through renewables.
By Q4 2023, and when it’s up and running, the project will contribute an estimated 3.7 percent of energy to Azerbaijan’s total national grid capacity, powering 300,000 households while offsetting 400,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.
The ceremony was attended by Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Minister of Energy of Saudi Arabia, Parviz Shahbazov, Minister of Energy of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr. Balababa Rzayev, President of “Azerishiq OJSC” and Mr. Mohammad Abunayyan, Chairman of ACWA Power, along with senior executives, none who appear to be women in the image supplied, above.
One of ACWA’s main activities is investing in desalination technology. This approach to providing clean water is highly energy intensive, with brackish water runoff destroying marine life.
The company has also invested in solar energy in Morocco. Read Green Prophet’s story here.
Wind Energy in Uzbekistan
ACWA Power is an investor in other post-Soviet Muslim states such as Uzbekistan, where it is developing multi-billion-dollar power projects.
In December 2021, the Saudi company finalized an agreement to develop the 100-MW Nukus wind project. Located in the Karakalpakstan region, the $108 M USD Nukus wind farm is the first publicly tendered wind project in the country and was won by the ACWA Power through a competitive bidding process.
The scheme is only the fourth in the Central Asian state for the company, which is also developing the 1,500-MW combined cycle gas turbine Sirdarya project, which is expected to meet 15% of the country’s power requirements upon completion.