Just one month after the price of solar power in Chile dropped to half the cost of coal, a new record low price has already been established. A solar plant in Abu Dhabi fetched a bid of just 2.42 cents per kilowatt hour, edging out Chile’s previous record of 2.91 cents. The new price, offered by a consortium of Chinese solar panel manufacturer JinkoSolar and Japan-based company Marubeni, is for a solar plant initially planned for a capacity of 350 megawatts (twice the size of the Chilean project), but the final result may be even larger.

PV Magazine broke the news of the bid, which marks the lowest price ever bid for solar power anywhere on Earth. The Abu Dhabi Electricity and Water Authority’s (ADWEA) tender accepted the bid for the plant, destined for the town of Swaihan northwest of Abu Dhabi. ADWEA requested bids for a 350MW solar plant, but allowed bidders to increase the size of the project, so the actual build could wind up being larger than initially planned. The new ultra-low bid is attached to a project much larger than the initial 350MW, a senior representative of Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA) told PV Magazine.

Although the JinkoSolar/Marubeni bid is the lowest ever made, the super low price has not yet been accepted, as the auction is still ongoing. Reportedly, ADWEA is also evaluating a competing bid from a consortium of Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s energy company, EDF Energies Nouvelles and PAL Group, but the price of that bid has not been released. The new world record low price bid by JinkoSolar and Marubeni is an historic event, but the per-kilowatt-hour price is only one factor officials must weigh in order to determination which consortium will develop the solar plant. (inhabitat)