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Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable and alternative energy technologies and solutions initiative, has appointed the bidding consortium of Total and Abengoa Solar as a partner to own, build and operate Shams 1, the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant (CSP). One of Masdar’s flagship projects and the first plant of its kind in the Middle East, Shams 1 will directly contribute towards Abu Dhabi’s target of achieving 7 per cent renewable energy power generation capacity by the year 2020.
The US$600mn joint venture between Masdar (60 per cent), Total (20 per cent) and Abengoa Solar (20 per cent) will develop, build, operate and maintain the plant which will be located in Madinat Zayed, 120 km southwest of Abu Dhabi in the UAE. Shams 1 will be the largest concentrated solar power plant in the world, extending over an area of 2.5 sq km, with a capacity of approximately 100 MW and a solar field consisting of 768 parabolic trough collectors to be supplied by Abengoa Solar. Construction is set to begin during the third quarter of 2010 and is expected to take approximately two years.
“I am very proud of the announcement we are making today because this project, which will be the first utility scale, commercial solar power project in the UAE, represents the translation into reality of the vision the Abu Dhabi leadership had for renewable energy in the Emirate,” said Dr. Sultan Al-Jaber, CEO of Masdar. “In addition, Shams 1 will allow Masdar to transfer to Abu Dhabi the know-how and expertise we have gained from our involvement in developing world-class renewable energy projects abroad, thus not only opening the door for renewable energy projects in the UAE but also for technology transfer.”
Shams 1 is registered as a project under the United Nations’ Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and is eligible for carbon credits. It is be the first CSP plant registered under the CDM and the second project registered for Masdar. The plant will displace approximately 175,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, equivalent to planting 1.5mn trees or removing 15,000 cars from Abu Dhabi’s roads.