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'Largest' solar power plant to rise in Abu Dhabi

Posted: 14 Jun 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:solar power plant? renewable energy? Middle East solar plant?

Masdar, Abu Dhabi's multi-faceted initiative in advancing renewable and alternative energy technologies and solutions, has appointed the bidding consortium of Total and Abengoa Solar as a partner to own, build and operate Shams 1, set to be the largest concentrated solar power plant, and first of its kind in the Middle East.

Shams 1 will contribute towards Abu Dhabi's target of achieving 7 percent renewable energy power generation capacity by 2020.

The joint venture between Masdar (60 percent), Total (20 percent) and Abengoa Solar (20 percent) will develop, build, operate and maintain the plant to be located in Madinat Zayed, 120km southwest of Abu Dhabi.

Shams 1 is set to be the largest concentrated solar power plant, extending over an area of 2.5km?, with a capacity of approximately 100MW and a solar field consisting of 768 parabolic trough collectors to be supplied by Abengoa Solar. Construction is set to begin during Q3 10 and is expected to take approximately two years.

"The launch of the Shams 1 marks a very important milestone for Masdar and for Abu Dhabi," commented Sultan Al-Jaber, CEO of Masdar. "I am delighted we are embarking on this journey together with our strategic partners Total and Abengoa Solar, both of whom have tremendous experience and technical know-how in developing projects such as Shams 1. It is through such partnerships that Masdar will succeed in developing and advancing renewable energy solutions and establish Abu Dhabi and the UAE as a world leader in renewable energy and clean technology."

"By participating in this ambitious project alongside Masdar and Abengoa Solar, Total develops its solar energy assets, enriches its portfolio of expertise with this first step in concentrated solar technology, and reaffirms its unique partnership with Abu Dhabi," said Philippe Boisseau, president, Total Gas & Power. "We are pleased to be partnered with Abu Dhabi, a country we have been working with for more than 70 years, in its pursuit of energy diversification and to contribute to the Masdar initiative, which promotes the development of renewable energies."

Santiago Seage, CEO of Abengoa Solar, stated: "We have teamed with the most qualified partners in the region, Total and Masdar, to own and operate what will be the most advanced solar plant, featuring our cutting-edge technology." In turn, Michael Geyer, Abengoa Solar's Director of International Development, highlighted the immense potential of building large-scale solar plants in the Middle East, a region that offers both an unlimited solar resource and infinite site locations for implementation of solar plants in its deserts.

Eligible for carbon credits, Shams 1 is registered under the United Nations' Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). It is the first CSP plant registered under CDM and the second project registered for Masdar. The plant will displace approximately 175,000 tons of CO2 annually, equivalent to planting 1.5 million trees or removing 15,000 cars from Abu Dhabi's roads.

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