The $600m Shams 1 plant was the world's largest when it opened in Abu Dhabi in 2013 © MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP via Getty Images
The $600m Shams 1 plant was the world's largest when it opened in Abu Dhabi in 2013 © MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP via Getty Images

Deal signed for world's largest solar plant

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
28 July 2020

A deal has been struck to build the largest solar power plant in the world in Abu Dhabi.

The plant, due to be operational in 2022, will produce two gigawatts (GW) of power and cut CO2 emissions by 2.4m tonnes, the equivalent of taking around 470,000 cars off the road.

The Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC) awarded the contract to develop the project to a consortium including Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, Masdar, TAQA, EDF, and JinkoPower.

EWEC said a “rigorous procurement process” resulted in one of the most cost-competitive tariff prices for energy produced at the plant, which will supply around 160,000 homes.

It will surpass the current holder of the title of world’s largest solar plant, the Noor Abu Dhabi, which has a capacity of 1.2GW.

Othman Al Ali, CEO of EWEC, said: “We are delighted to work with our partners and sign a PPA [power purchase agreement] with a record-low tariff for solar power.

“We are working to secure long-term energy supply and reinforce solar power’s integral role in meeting current and future energy needs.

“Combined with key technological advances, the Al Dhafra Solar PV project will have a significant impact on diversifying the approach to our current electricity supply, and drive our strategic plan to further contribute towards the sector’s transformation in water and electricity production, as we develop a low-carbon grid in the UAE.”

Bruno Bensasson, EDF group senior executive vice president, renewable energies and CEO of EDF Renewables, said: “The project will use the latest in crystalline, bifacial solar technology delivering electricity to the highest efficiency and at a world record-low tariff in such irradiation conditions.

“It will support the UAE’s unique vision and leadership position in the development of a diverse range of renewable energy solutions that will provide sustainable and efficient power for generations to come.”

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