Al Dhafra PV2 solar plant marks global milestone for scalable renewable energy through sustainable finance
Abu Dhabi, 22nd February 2021: The Al Dhafra PV2 solar project procured by the Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC) and developed by EDF Renouvelables and Jinko Power (HK), a subsidiary of Jinko Power Technology Co, Ltd (Jinko Power), in partnership with the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) and Masdar has announced its financial closing. The total project costs are approximately US$ 1billion.
BNP Paribas was sole Lead Bank for the winning consortium bid for the Al Dhafra PV2 solar project, the world’s largest single-site solar power plant under construction with a capacity of 2GWp. BNP Paribas acted as sole Bookrunner, Documentation Bank, Mandated Lead Arranger and Hedge Provider. In addition, BNP Paribas acted as the sole Equity Bridge Loan (EBL) Lender to EDF Renouvelables and Jinko Power, and EBL Facility Agent. Six other Mandated Lead Arranger banks participated in the financing of the project.
The new solar site is located 35 km outside of Abu Dhabi City, and will deploy the latest innovations in crystalline bifacial solar technology, which will enable the generation of more power by using both sides of the solar panel.
The project will supply power directly to EWEC. It will use approximately 4 million solar panels to generate enough electricity to sustain power for up to 160,000 homes across the UAE. Upon full commercial operations, the plant is expected to reduce Abu Dhabi’s CO2 emissions by more than 2.4 million metric tons per year – equivalent to removing 470,000 cars from roads. The plant is in line with the UAE’s commitment to source 50% of its energy from clean resources in the next 30 years, and is part of the Energy Strategy 2050. The project is expected to be commercially operational by 2022.
At financial close, the project had yielded one of the most competitive levelised costs of electricity for solar PV (1.32 c$/kWh), reinforcing the environmental, commercial and operational value of transitioning towards renewable energy.
Amine Bel Hadj Soulami, Head of BNP Paribas, Middle East & Africa said: “Scaling up the energy transition through finance is essential to tackling the climate crisis, and BNP Paribas is committed to supporting this vital shift towards a low carbon economy. Renewable energy is a strategic pillar of the UAE’s sustainability strategy, and the Al Dhafra PV2 solar plant will significantly contribute to the 50% clean energy-sourcing objective by 2050.”
Severine Mateo, Head of Energy, Resources and Infrastructure department, BNP Paribas, added, “We are committed to supporting companies and countries that are prioritising a proactive sustainability transition, and this is critical to our role as a responsible bank.”
In 2018, BNP Paribas joined forces with four other large banks to develop a common methodology for measuring and aligning bank loan portfolios with the goals of the Paris Agreement. This methodology, called PACTA, covers the utilities, automakers, and oil & gas sectors, as well as other high emission sectors across transportation and heavy industry.