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United Arab Emirates: World’s largest single-site solar power plant inaugurated ahead of COP28 – News

Photo: AFP

Published: Thursday, November 16, 2023, 10:33 p.m.

Last update: Thursday, November 16, 2023, 10:34 p.m.

The world’s largest single-site solar power plant has opened in Abu Dhabi ahead of the United Arab Emirates hosting COP28.

Located 35 km from the city, the iconic 2 GW Al Dhafra Independent Solar Photovoltaic Power Project was built in a single phase and generates enough electricity to power almost 200,000 homes, displacing 2.4 million tonnes of carbon emissions each. anus.

The plant extends over more than 20 square kilometers. of the desert and created 4,500 jobs during the peak of the construction phase. It uses almost 4 million solar panels, which implement innovative bifacial technology, ensuring that sunlight is captured on both sides of the panels to maximize performance.

Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) developed the project together with its partners Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA), EDF Renewables and JinkoPower. Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC) is the purchasing company.

Sheikh Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Governor of Abu Dhabi, unveiled the project, which is already supplying clean, emission-free electricity to the UAE national grid. Also present was Lieutenant General Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior.

Photo: Exterior

Photo: Exterior

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Sheikh Hazza reaffirmed that the United Arab Emirates, under the leadership of the President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is moving forward with its strategic plans to enhance its energy security by implementing a diverse range of flexible power generation that is contributing to the reduction of carbon emissions. , at the same time as the economy advances.

“As the UAE prepares to host COP28, this pioneering project reflects the country’s ongoing commitment to increasing its share of clean energy, reducing its carbon emissions and supporting global climate action efforts.”

Photo: AFP

Photo: AFP

World leader

In less than 15 years, the United Arab Emirates has become a world leader in solar energy. In 2009, Masdar launched the country’s first 10 MW solar project; Today, Al Dhafra Solar PV represents a plant that is 200 times that size. As the countdown to COP28 begins in the UAE, this mega project initially achieved the world’s lowest tariff at financial close and demonstrates the country’s long-standing commitment to decarbonisation, domestically and around the world.

Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Chairman of Masdar and President-designate of COP28, said: “With just a few days left until the start of COP28, I will call on the world to come together and make the transition.” triple renewable energy capacity and double energy efficiency by 2030. Al Dhafra is an example of the scale of ambition needed around the world.”

Photo: AFP

Photo: AFP

The United Arab Emirates is also a world leader in the use of solar energy, according to the latest data from The Energy Institute Statistical Review of World Energy, ranking second globally in terms of solar energy consumption per capita. In less than a decade, the country has surpassed leading nations in installing solar energy, as part of the country’s energy diversification.

Photo: AFP

Photo: AFP

The execution of the project was possible after global energy leaders formed a strategic partnership and leveraged their combined expertise. Al Dhafra Solar PV, planned and acquired by EWEC, has broken records in terms of cost for utility-scale solar projects. Initially, the project resulted in one of the most competitive tariffs for solar energy, set at 4.97 fils/kWh (1.35 cents/kWh), which after financial closing was further improved to 4.85 fils/kWh. kWh (1.32 cents/kWh). ).

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