Saudi Acwa Power’s investment in the construction of a wind farm in Azerbaijan in the amount of about $300 million can be called historical, since this is not only the largest foreign investment in alternative energy in the country, it is also the first time Azerbaijan has attracted private investment in the electricity sector, stated the Deputy Minister of Energy of Azerbaijan Elnur Soltanov.
According to him, so far, the largest operating production facility of alternative energy in Azerbaijan is a wind farm in Yashma (60 km north of Baku) with a capacity of 50 MW. The wind farm, which Acwa Power plans to commission in mid-2023, has a capacity of 240 MW.
“Azerbaijan’s main benefit in this project is that we attracted a foreign investor with the current tariff for the wholesale sale of electricity in the domestic market,” Soltanov stressed. According to him, Acwa Power, when selling electricity generated from its wind turbines, will receive 0.055 manats, that is, 3.2 US cents, for each kWh.
In addition, Soltanov noted that funds from the state budget will not be used, and traditional fuel will not be used to generate about 1 billion kWh of electricity, Azerbaijan will annually save about 220 million cubic meters of gas (Azerenerji for the production of about 24 billion kWh of electricity in thermal power plants consumes almost 5.5 bcm of natural gas – Turan).
Soltanov said that the Acwa Power wind farm will be located in the territories of Khizi and Absheron regions. Each turbine will have 6.5 MW of power. The diameter of the turbine blades is 85 meters.
“The electricity generated from these turbines will be able to provide electricity to about 300,000 subscribers from the “population” category,” the deputy minister explained.
The Turan agency calculated that over 20 years of operation of this power plant, a Saudi company with such a tariff, even with the generation of 850-900 million kWh of electricity per year, will be able to return the invested capital, and also have a good level of profit.