Abu Dhabi-headquartered clean energy outfit Masdar has set the seal on a massive deal with Azerbaijan’s government to develop some 4GW of land-based wind and solar projects in the Central Asia country, along with a fleet of offshore wind-powered hydrogen plants in its area of the Caspian Sea.

The deal, inked by State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan (Socar), follows on from “implementation agreements” signed last summer to scope out a renewable energy program targeting construction of 10GW of plant “across multiple technologies”.

“These agreements will serve to strengthen the already powerful relationship between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Azerbaijan and are a testament to our shared commitment to diversifying our energy mix and developing low- and zero-carbon solutions,” said Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE minister of industry and advanced technology and chairman of Masdar, making the announcement today (Tuesday) on the sidelines of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.

Masdar CEO Mohammed Jameel Al Ramahi stated: “Masdar sees Azerbaijan as a key strategic partner. This signing marks a milestone on the delivery of a significant collaboration that will advance Azerbaijan’s renewable energy goals and support its ongoing sustainable economic development.”

Al Jaber – who is also COP28 president-designate – added: “As global leaders gather here in the UAE, we are demonstrating the power of partnership and cooperation in advancing the inclusive energy transition.”

Azeri state oil company Socar has been an early regional mover its strategic plans to shift away from hydrocarbons, with the aim producing 30% of its domestic power needs from renewable energy sources by the end of the decade.

Offshore wind is seen as key industrial engine for the country in its energy transition, based not only on World Bank calculations of a “technical” energy potential of almost 160GW that could green the Azeri grid many times over, but also because of the role that marinised wind power could play in decarbonising offshore oil & gas production in the Caspian, extending economic viablity of existing operations.

Masdar has had a long-standing stake in the global offshore wind sector, with investments ranging round the world today from the early-stage finance of Brazil's hotly-prospected nascent play, though backing of the UK’s pioneeering Hywind Scotland floating wind array back in 2017, to ongoing collabration with Malaysian oil & gas player Petronas on building utility-scale projects off the Asian island nation.