Uzbekistan’s ministry of Energy announced on 31 August that it had reached financial close on a 500 MW wind farm close to the city of Zarafshan in the country’s Navoiy region.
It will be built by Masdar, a leading renewable energy company based in Abu Dhabi. Upon completion, the wind farm will be Central Asia’s largest. Commercial operations are expected to commence by the end of 2024, and the government of Uzbekistan expects over US$600 million in foreign direct investment to flow into the country as a result of this project.
Uzbekistan has undertaken meet 25% of its energy needs from renewables by 2030, and reach carbon neutrality in 2050. The Zarafshan project, Central Asia’s largest wind farm, will be a major contributor to these goals. Masdar is currently contracted to develop an additional 890 MW of photovoltaic capacity at sites in the Samarkand, Jizzakh and Sherabad regions over the coming years.
Following last year’s launch of the 100 MW Nur Navoiy PV power plant – Uzbekistan’s first independent solar power producer – the Zarafshan wind farm is the second utility-scale renewables project developed by Masdar in Uzbekistan. Power Purchase Agreements for the plant’s output have been in place with the ministry of Investments and Foreign Trade and JSC National Electric Grid of Uzbekistan since June 2020.
Uzbekistan’s long-term strategy to diversify its energy mix targets 8 GW of solar and wind power by 2026 and 12 GW of renewable sources by 2030.