The government of Ecuador has signed an agreement with Solarpack, a Spanish company, to build and operate the country’s first large-scale solar power project, as reported by Reuters on March 3. The project, which is estimated to cost almost USD145m, will be located in the El Aromo area of Manabi province and have a capacity of 200 megawatts (MW). The country is seeking private capital to develop renewable energy projects to meet domestic demand and export to Colombia and Peru. The government estimates that it will need approximately USD2.2bn in private funds over the next decade to develop renewable energy projects. President Guillermo Lasso, who is currently facing impeachment calls over corruption allegations, stated that Solarpack will provide the investment and have the concession for 20 years. The project is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 221,000 tonnes per year.
Similarly to Ecuador, other countries such as Saudi Arabia are also investing in the construction of solar power plants. According to an announcement by Uzbekistan’s Energy Ministry on Saturday, ACWA Power [ACWA:AB] from Saudi Arabia will construct two solar plants and three power storage systems in Uzbekistan, with a total capacity of 1.4 gigawatts (GW) and 1.2 GW respectively. The investment agreements on the project are worth USD2.5bn, and Uzbekistan will purchase power from the facilities. The project includes a 400 MW plant and a storage facility in Tashkent province, a 1 GW plant and a 400 MW storage system in the Samarkand region, and 400 MW of storage in Bukhara province. As Uzbekistan faces natural gas shortages, it has signed several renewable energy projects with investors from the Gulf. The country aims to generate over one-third of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.