Shams 1 will displace 175,000 tons of CO2 per year and its power output will be enough to power 20,000 homes.
Abu Dhabi’s push into clean energy is to get a massive boost by the end of the year with the Shams 1 Concentrated Solar Power plant going live in the emirate and will begin supplying solar power to residents in the city. Commissioned by MASDAR, Spain’s Abengoa Solar and France’s Total S.A. the $500 million USD plant will have a capacity of 100 megawatts of electricity, which the company said in announcing the plant’s functionality this past week, should be enough power to run 20,000 homes. Using solar parabolic trough technology is the largest such plant in the world and first of its kind solar power plant in the Middle East North Africa region.
“At the end of October all these generators that are now powering the plant will be gone and we will connect to the grid and will be live,” said Shams Power Company General Manager Yousif Al Ali in a statement on the new plant.
“Setting up a solar field of this magnitude took plenty of time and seat, especially out here, in the desert of Madinat Zayed, in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi emirate,” he added.
Abu Dhabi is not the only Emirate looking to enhance its clean energy sector. In Dubai, the city hopes to have some five percent of its energy needs met by “green energy” by 2030.
According to the Vice-Chairman of the Supreme Council of Energy Mohamed al-Tayer, solar power is to be the top priority in the coming years.
“Soon we’ll have a very big project in Dubai in respect to solar,” he said.
Tayer did not deliver specific details on the projects or say how much projected costs to make it a reality would be.
Almost all of Dubai’s current power supply comes from burning natural gas. Dubai’s energy demands spiked during the past decade due to megaprojects and a boom in high-rise buildings that have sprouted up across the city.
Officials last year said that they were considering new types of power in a bid to diversify Dubai’s energy sources.
Among the alternatives being considered are “clean coal” technologies, which aim to reduce coal’s harmful carbon emissions.
The latest plans call for coal and nuclear power to each supply Dubai with about 12 percent of its power needs by 2030, with 5 percent coming from renewable sources and the rest from natural gas, al-Tayer said.
Top image via Shams Youtube Video