• If all goes well, Dubai may just take the crown for securing the world’s lowest bid for solar PV technology with $0.016953/kWh
  • IJ Global reports this bid has been offered by one of the only two teams qualified to compete in the final round, namely ACWA Power and GIC
  • The second contender is a consortium of Masdar, EDF and JinkoPower that have offered a bid of $0.01725 per kWh

The 900 MW solar PV tender issued by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) in Phase-V of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Solar Park (MBR Solar Park) has received what could be the world’s lowest tariff bid with $0.016953 per kWh. Project finance and infrastructure journal IJ Global reports that the bid has been offered by the consortium of ACWA Power and Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC).

The duo is competing against the only other team of Masdar, EDF and JinkoPower that have offered to build the 900 MW capacity for $0.01725 per kWh, as per the news report. The ‘lowest ever tariff bid for solar PV’, said IJ Global, will make many wonder how much lower bids for solar projects can go, while still making them profitable.

Expression of interest for Phase-V was launched in February 2019 followed by the formal tender seeking financial bids in June 2019 (see DEWA Issues Tender For 900 MW Solar). The winner will get to enter a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with DEWA that will retain a 60% stake in the project.

However, one must be cautious to assume the winner beforehand going by the lowest bid offered. In January 2018, ACWA Power and Masdar came head to head for the 300 MW Sakaka Solar PV Project in Saudi Arabia when Masdar and EDF consortium’s lowest bid of $0.01785 per kWh (touted as the world’s lowest solar bid back then) was rejected by the country’s Renewable Energy Project Development Office (REPDO). With the second lowest bid, ACWA Power won the tender with the winning bid of $0.0234 per kWh (see ACWA Power Wins 300 MW Saudi PV Tender).

Very recently, the Brazilian A-4 New Energy Auction in July 2019 secured what was called as the lowest bid of BRL 64.99 ($16.9) per MWh for the solar power capacity offered, prompting former Bloomberg New Energy Finance head Michael Liebreich to claim it to be the ‘cheapest power from any technology ever, anywhere in the world, in the history of the plant (assuming it is confirmed subsidy-free)’ (see Brazil’s A-4 Auction Sets Solar Tariff Record).

In September 2019, Asian Development Bank (ADB) revealed $0.03877 per kWh as the lowest power purchase tariff in Southeast Asia for a 60 MW solar PV tender in Cambodia (see SE Asia’s ‘Lowest’ Solar Bid Of $0.0387/kWh In Cambodia).