UAE-based Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) and the State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) have started construction on three solar and wind projects in Azerbaijan with a total capacity of 1GW.

The three new clean energy projects are the 445MW Bilasuvar solar photovoltaic (PV) project, the 315MW Neftchala solar PV project, and the 240MW Absheron-Garadagh onshore wind project.

Masdar said that the groundbreaking of the solar and wind energy projects underscores its long-term commitment to the Central Asian country as a global strategic partner.

The start of construction of the projects marked the opening of the Baku Energy Week which saw the presence of Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev and other dignitaries. At the event, Masdar and SOCAR also signed a shareholder agreement for the three solar and wind projects.

Azerbaijan Minister of Energy Parviz Shahbazov said: “Laying the foundation of three stations with a capacity of 1GW is not only a first in the field of green energy in Azerbaijan, but also a bright indicator of our solidarity and commitment to the energy transition for the sake of the green world as COP host countries.

“Annual electricity generation of 2.3 billion kWh, saving over 500 million cubic meters of natural gas, as well as preventing more than one million tons of carbon emissions are the future contributions of these plants to sustainable development.”

In October 2023, investment agreements were finalised for the three clean energy projects. This was followed by the signing of agreements for the purchase of power, land lease, and transmission connection.

UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Masdar chairman Sultan Al Jaber said: “We are proud to partner with Azerbaijan on this significant expansion of its renewable energy capacity and to support Azerbaijan’s journey toward energy diversification, stimulating new industries, new jobs and sustainable economic growth.”

The foundation laying of the three new projects comes after Masdar’s completion of the 230MW Garadagh solar plant in October last year.

Garadagh is the first foreign investment-driven independent solar power project in Azerbaijan as well as the largest solar plant in the region.