Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company Masdar has reached a financial close for its 230MW Garadagh solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in Azerbaijan.

Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Japan International Cooperation Agency co-financed the project.

Garadagh is considered Azerbaijan’s first foreign investment-based independent solar power project and Masdar’s first project in the country.

Masdar commenced construction on the solar PV plant in March this year and the facility is expected to start commercial operation in 2023.

The solar project is expected to generate 500 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per annum, which is adequate to address the needs of more than 110,000 homes.

It will reduce more than 200,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per annum, and also create jobs in the region, said the company.

Azerbaijan Republic Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov said: “Successful achievement of the next critical milestone in the project is a proof of our determined approach to the joint cooperation and commitment of the parties towards the realization of the project.

“In line with the national priority on ‘A clean environment and country of green growth’, our country has ambitious plans about utilisation of its ample renewable energy potential and we are confident that this solar power project will be a great trailblazer for future projects.

“This and other projects will further contribute to the realization of the country’s NDCs by 2050, declared on the sidelines of COP 26 Conference.”

According to the company, Azerbaijan aims to increase the share of renewable sources in its installed power capacity to at least 30% by 2030.

Masdar has signed agreements with Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Energy to develop 4GW of clean energy projects in the first phase, and an additional 6GW in the second phase.

It has also signed two implementation agreements in June to develop 1GW of onshore wind projects and 1GW of PV projects, and 2GW of integrated offshore wind and green hydrogen projects.

Masdar chief executive officer Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi said: “The Garadagh plant is Masdar’s first project in Azerbaijan and therefore we are proud to reach this significant milestone in its development.

“The Garadagh project will serve as a benchmark for Azerbaijan’s clean energy journey, with the nation committed to transforming its energy sector and driving sustainable development.”