The Saudi energy company ACWA Power has signed Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and investment agreements (IAs) with Uzbekistan's National Power Grid company and the Uzbek government to develop a 1.5 GW onshore wind park, which will be built in the Karakalpakstan region (north-western Uzbekistan). The Kungrad wind park, which is expected to be commissioned in 2026, will be built and operated by ACWA Power. It will consist of three 500 MW wind power projects each owned by a subsidiary of ACWA Power and will produce around 5.2 TWh/year of electricity.
The park will be equipped with a Battery Energy Storage System (100 MW for each 500 MW project) as well as an 800 km overhead transmission line, which will carry the generated power from the northwest of Uzbekistan to the central part of the country. The wind park is expected to require an investment of US$2.4bn.
Uzbekistan is currently ramping up its development of wind capacity. In December 2022, the country was awarded a US$520m loan by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to finance two onshore wind projects in the Bukhara region, totalling 1 GW, which are also developed by ACWA Power.
At the end of 2021, Uzbekistan had only 1 MW of installed wind capacity. However, Uzbekistan targets 8 GW of solar and wind capacity by 2026 and 12 GW by 2030. The country is planning to build at least 5 GW of solar, 3 GW of wind, and 1.9 GW of hydropower capacities by 2030 to cover 25% of the power mix (up from 10% in 2019). Uzbekistan also plans to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. It is also currently developing the 500 MW Zarafshan wind project with the UAE’s Masdar and for which a financial close was reached in September 2022.