Power plant developer ACWA Power and the government of Azerbaijan have signed an agreement to potentially deploy a battery energy storage system (BESS) in the central Asian country.
The Azerbaijan Ministry of Energy said 3 February that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) had been signed “in relation to development of a Battery Energy Storage System in the Republic of Azerbaijan”.
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This was alongside two significant wind project implementation agreements signed between the two parties at the 9th Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council and first Green Energy Advisory Council meeting held last week in Baku, the Azerbaijani capital.
With ACWA Power already working on a 240MW wind power plant in the country, the implementation deals announced were for a new offshore wind project with up to 1.5GW capacity and an onshore wind project with up to 1GW capacity.
No further details were announced regarding the possible size and capacity of the battery storage project, but as an MoU it is understood to be at a much earlier stage of conception than the wind power projects.
ACWA Power is a developer, owner and operator of both conventional thermal and renewable energy assets, as well as desalination facilities. It is currently developing what is thought to be the Middle East’s biggest battery storage project to date, a 1,200MWh – 1,300MWh system planned at the Red Sea Project, an off-grid resort off the coast of Saudi Arabia.
“From today onwards, our partnership with ACWA Power is expanding through projects on wind power plants with a total capacity of 2.5GW and the creation of battery energy storage systems for the first time in our country,” Minister of Energy Parviz Shahbazov said.
“These projects are further contributions to the implementation of the state policy on the development of Azerbaijan as a country of ‘green growth’ and supplier of green energy.”
The two co-located events at which the agreements were signed also played host to the signing of agreements between the Azerbaijan government and European Union (EU) to cooperate on energy security and transition to renewables.
That included planning for the opening of the Southern Gas Corridor which would take natural gas from the Middle East into Europe, reducing the latter’s dependency on Russian imports. Meanwhile at the first meeting of the Green Energy Advisory Council, the EU and Azerbaijan agreed to expand existing cooperative efforts in areas like renewable energy and green hydrogen.
For Saudi Arabia-headquartered ACWA Power, it’s the latest in a series of recent deals by which the company, developer of some 44GW+ of generation assets in 12 countries since its founding in 2004, has struck up high-level partnerships with governments.
In late November, ACWA Power signed an MoU with an Indonesian state-owned company to investigate potential for green hydrogen and energy storage developments. PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) is Indonesia’s biggest power generation company and its exclusive purchaser of energy from independent power producer (IPP) assets.
A month later, Uzbekistan’s government signed power purchase agreement (PPA) and investment deals with ACWA Power for the development of Kungrad, a 1.5GW wind project in the region of Karakalpakstan. That would comprise three separate 500MW wind power plants, and each would incorporate a 100MW BESS, according to ACWA Power, for a project requiring total investment of around US$2.4 billion.
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