Technicians check solar panels at a textile company in Jimo, Shandong province. (Photo/China Daily)
Sweihan project to offer one of lowest power prices by a utility globally
JinkoSolar Holdings Co Ltd, the world's largest solar panel producer by shipments, will join force with Japan's Marubeni Corporation and the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Company (ADWEC) to develop one of the world's largest photovoltaic power plants in Abu Dhabi.
The Sweihan project, a 1,177MW (DC) PV power plant in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, will not only be vast in size, but will also see its power price being one of the lowest ever achieved by a utility scale project globally under a 25-year power purchase agreement, the company said.
JinkoSolar chairman Li Xiande, said: "We are excited to be a part of the significant milestone project to co-develop with ADWEC and Marubeni."
He said: "The execution of the power purchase agreement demonstrates our strong technical skills, reliable high-efficiency products and development capabilities, and we are proud of making a significant contribution to the development of the solar industry in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi."
A special-purpose company jointly owned by the three companies, with JinkoSolar accounting for 20 percent, Marubeni 20 percent, and Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA) 60 percent, are responsible for the construction, operation and maintenance of the PV plant located in the eastern region of Abu Dhabi.
The power generated will be sold to ADWEC for 25 years under the power purchase agreement.
ADWEC is a wholly owned subsidiary of government entity ADWEA.
Joseph Jacobelli, a senior analyst with Asia utilities and infrastructure research at Bloomberg Intelligence, said: "A generation capacity of 1,177 MW is a huge project, and a 25-year power purchasing agreement should provide a stable stream of cash flow."
Jacobelli said the JinkoSolar consortium investment does not indicate a changing trend for Chinese companies' when it comes to investments abroad in terms of either a preferred energy source or a preferred country.
He said: "Many Chinese private and state-owned-enterprises look for investment opportunities in all forms of energy and look for projects globally. On the renewable energy front, Beijing-based China Longyuan Power has invested in wind facilities in Canada and is constructing another wind project in South Africa for example. Shanghai-based SPI Energy invested in solar projects in Japan and elsewhere, as another example."
Solar analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance Wang Xiaoting said the bids were not unachievable considering the cheaper equipment, lower system costs in terms of dollar per watt, longer power purchase agreement time, probably lower financing costs and better local incentives.
Abdulla Ali Musleh Al Ahbabi, Chairman of ADWEA, said:" Today's important milestone is a highly significant event for both Abu Dhabi and also for the global Solar PV market."