• Scaling Solar Program of the World Bank has secured Uzbekistan as another member country
  • Uzbek government has issued RFP to 11 shortlisted bidders for a 100 MW solar tender it has launched with the help of the IFC
  • The 100 MW project is now being planned under the aegis of the Scaling Solar program
  • Final list of winners in the 100 MW tender will be announced in third quarter of 2019

The World Bank Group’s initiative to help some low-income and conflict-affected regions around the globe to create viable markets for solar power has found another taker. After Ethiopia, Madagascar, Senegal and Zambia, Uzbekistan is the 5th nation to join the Scaling Solar program.

The Government of Uzbekistan has signed a mandate with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group for a 100 MW solar power plant in the country’s Navoi region. In May 2018, the IFC committed to structure the public private partnership (PPP) model and mobilize private sector experience for the 100 MW project (see IFC To Back 100 MW PV Plant In Uzbekistan).

Having received interest from 23 companies for the 100 MW tender in March 2019, the Uzbek government has now issued a request for proposals (RFP) to 11 pre-qualified bidders for the 100 MW project under Scaling Solar Program. Final winners will be announced in Q3/2019.

The country aims to develop up to 1 GW of solar power capacity with 100 MW coming from the Scaling Solar projects. Currently, Uzbekistan depends on gas-fired plants for 82% of its power supply.

In May 2018, Uzbekistan announced that Canadian project developer SkyPower Global would establish 1 GW solar PV capacity for an investment of $1.3 billion with the state providing land and power offtake guarantee by national utility Uzbekenergo (see SkyPower To Develop 1 GW PV In Uzbekistan). In the meantime, there hasn’t been any official updates on the project.

With Uzbekistan joining in, the Scaling Solar program has moved beyond Africa to Central Asia. Very recently a second 500 MW Scaling Solar tender round was announced in Ethiopia even before the first round with 250 MW capacity was awarded.