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Turkmenistan to host first large scale solar plants

Turkmenistan has installed zero solar capacity to date.
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Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy developer Masdar and Turkmenistan‘s power utility Turkmenenergo have signed a joint development agreement for a 100 MW solar park in Turkmenistan.

The agreement marks Masdar’s entrance into the country and builds on a memorandum of understanding signed by the two parties in October 2021 to explore opportunities for public-private investment and development of solar and wind power projects in Turkmenistan.

“We hope that this document will mark the beginning of a new stage in the development of the electric power industry of Turkmenistan through the construction of solar and wind power plants, in which has accumulated a large and rich experience,” said the deputy chairman of the cabinet of ministers of Turkmenistan, Charymurat Purchekov. The location for the new 100 MW park was not provided.

Masdar CEO Mohammed Jameel Al Ramahi said: “We welcome the signing of the JDA and hope the 100 MWac project will be the first of many Masdar projects in Turkmenistan.”

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This is not the first large scale renewable energy project under development in the country. In July, Turkmenenergo signed an agreement with Turkish developer Çalik Enerji Sanaýi we Tijaret A.Ş. for the construction of a 10 MW hybrid wind-solar park, with 3 MW of solar. That plant is located near the recently completed artificial lake Altyn Asyr.

“The first solar-wind power plant in Turkmenistan will generate clean energy, providing reliable and uninterrupted power supply to consumers in the settlements that will appear around the Turkmen Lake in the Central Karakum Desert,” the local government said in a statement released at the time. “The document prescribes to begin construction work in July 2022 and to hand over the facility in full readiness for operation in January 2024.”

According to data from the International Renewable Energy Agency, Turkmenistan had no solar or wind capacity installed as of 2021. Its total renewable energy capacity in 2021 was 2 MW, all from hydroelectric power. The country has significant natural gas resources, but has potential to be a solar powerhouse: receiving in excess of 3,000 hours of sunshine a year in some parts, and boasting an average of 300 sunny days a year.

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Source: pv magazine