Masdar has signed agreements for solar and onshore wind projects with a total capacity of 1 gigawatt (GW) in Azerbaijan, following the inauguration of the region’s largest operational solar plant, the 230MW Garadagh Solar Park.

The strategic agreements cover the progression of the first phase of a 10GW pipeline of renewable energy projects in Azerbaijan signed in June 2022. This follows the successful development of Garadagh, Azerbaijan’s first foreign investment-based independent solar power project and the largest solar plant in the region.

The inauguration of Garadagh was overseen by His Excellency Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and His Excellency Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, COP28 President-Designate, and Chairman of Masdar.

The 1GW clean energy agreements were signed by Masdar Chief Executive Officer, Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, His Excellency Parviz Shahbazov, Azerbaijan Minister of Energy, and His Excellency Mikayil Jabbarov, Azerbaijan Minister of the Economy.

Also in attendance at the inauguration were His Excellency Suhail Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy; His Excellency Mohamed Hassan Alsuwaidi, UAE Minister of Investment and Deputy Chairman of Masdar; His Excellency Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State; His Excellency Mohammed Murad Al Blooshi, UAE Ambassador to Azerbaijan, and His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, and His Excellency Elchin Bagirov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Azerbaijan to the UAE.

His Excellency Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, COP28 President-Designate and Chairman of Masdar, said: “Garadagh is a testament to our shared commitment to diversifying the global energy mix. Azerbaijan’s ambition to develop low and zero-carbon solutions through renewable energy, is exactly what the world needs at this time.

“The UAE is proud to support Azerbaijan’s clean energy goals, to generate more than 30 per cent of its overall energy capacity from renewables by 2030. We need all nations of the world to set out clear energy transition plans with clear targets for renewable energy capacity. As the UAE prepares to host COP28 in November, our North Star for climate action must be to keep the ambition of limiting global temperatures to 1.5C within reach.”

Speaking at the inauguration event, Dr Sultan Al Jaber also commended His Excellency President Ilham Aliyev and the nation of Azerbaijan for its commitment to a defined, strategic plan of action to develop new industries, new jobs and green economic growth.

In his speech HE Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said: “With just 34 days to COP28, Garadagh illustrates the practical action needed to turn the goals of the Paris Agreement into tangible reality. Paris unified the world around a common goal, but since then, we have not seen enough action to close a massive emissions gap. While investment in renewable energy continues to grow, with a record 500GW added globally this year, the world must triple renewable energy capacity by 2030 to keep 1.5 within reach. It is critical to bring everybody to the table to be part of the solution. This is the spirit of inclusivity needed at COP28, bringing the world together to focus on solutions and results.”

His Excellency Parviz Shahbazov, Azerbaijan Minister of Energy, said: "Today is marked by the achievements of the state policy of the President of Azerbaijan, which prioritises the development of renewable energy. The commissioning of the largest solar power plant based on the first foreign investment in our energy history, as well as the signing of investment agreements for the implementation of solar and wind energy projects with a capacity of 1000 MW, show that our country's green energy and green investment plans are successfully becoming a reality. Azerbaijan is pleased to realise its strategic goals as a green energy producing and exporting country with Masdar and these projects will play an important role in increasing the share of renewable energy sources in electricity generation capacity to 30 per cent by 2030.”

The Garadagh plant which represents Masdar’s first project in the country, will generate half a billion kilowatt-hours of electricity each year, enough to power more than 110,000 homes, reducing carbon emissions by over 200,000 tonnes a year. The project is co-financed by Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, said: “The inauguration of Garadagh, the largest operational plant in the region, is a milestone achievement. Azerbaijan is a key strategic partner for Masdar and the signing of these additional agreements today pave the way to accelerate the scale of Azerbaijan’s clean energy vision. Garadagh is the first in a number of potential projects to develop onshore wind, offshore wind, solar and green hydrogen with a total combined capacity of 10GW. This will lead to greater investment and international collaboration as we work together to help Azerbaijan achieve its ambitious climate goals.”

As the UAE’s clean energy powerhouse and one of the leading clean energy companies in the world, Masdar is accelerating the development and deployment of renewable energy and green hydrogen technologies to address global sustainability challenges.

Established in 2006, Masdar is active in more than 40 countries with a total electricity generation capacity of more than 20GW. It has invested, or committed to invest, in worldwide projects with a combined value of more than AED110.2 billion with ambitious growth plans to reach 100GW and 1 million tonnes of green hydrogen by 2030.