World’s largest single-site solar project begins commercial operations
Abu Dhabi’s new solar plant project has recently started its commercial operations as scheduled at Sweihan in Abu Dhabi. The Noor Abu Dhabi Solar Plant was jointly developed by the Japan’s Marubeni Corporation and Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC).
Envisioned as a long-term energy strategy targeting 2050, the project will have capacity of 1.177 gigawatts and consist of 3.2 million solar panels with a huge output. The project features another record at the time of bid submission, attracting the world’s most competitive tariff of 2.42 cents per kilowatt hour.
The AED3.2bn ($871m) project, made of all JinkoSolar’s high efficient mono panels, will be the world’s largest solar project and it is estimated the facility will offset one million metric tonnes of C02 emissions once at capacity – or the equivalent of removing 200,000 cars from the road – and serve 90,000 people, reports MEP Middle East.
The beginning of commercial operations at the Noor Abu Dhabi Solar Plant was announced at the recent United Nations Climate Meeting held in the Emirates. Mohammad Hassan Al Suwaidi, chairman of Emirates Water And Electricity Company, said the opening of the plant is another step towards achieving long-term targets.
“The completion of the project marks a significant milestone in the UAE’s Energy Strategy 2050, launched in 2017, to increase the contribution of clean energy in the total energy mix from 25% to 50% by 2050 while reducing the carbon footprint of power generation by 70%,” said Al Suwaidi.
“This is in line with the sector’s transformation strategy by providing alternative sources of energy that can help us improve the sustainability of the water and electricity sector.”
There is a difference between solar parks and single-site solar plants. Solar parks are designed for solar production, creating grid connections in place, where an assortment of business or government interests are able to set up their own, independent solar projects, while taking advantage of shared infrastructure.
However, a single-site solar plant covers an entire site and has a huge footprint, no matter how it is sliced up, which can power millions of homes. Single-site solar plant projects are increasing in the world, such as in China, Japan and Taiwan.