The heat is on! Abu Dhabi builds ‘world’s largest’ solar plant

CO2 emissions will be cut by 2.4 million tonnes annually, the same as removing 470,000 cars from the road

The Big Zero report

Abu Dhabi will soon be home to what is thought to be the ‘world’s largest’ solar plant.

A consortium led by Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) and Masdar, with partners EDF and JinkoPower, has been awarded the development of a 2GW solar project, which will be located approximately 35 kilometres from Abu Dhabi city.

The Al Dhafra Solar PV project, is expected to provide approximately 160,000 households across the UAE with electricity –  once fully operational, the plant will increase Abu Dhabi’s solar power capacity to approximately 3.2GW.

The plant is expected to reduce Abu Dhabi’s carbon dioxide emissions by more than 2.4 million metric tonnes every year, equivalent to removing approximately 470,000 cars from the road.

It will be larger than TAQA’s existing 1.2 GW ‘Noor Abu Dhabi’ solar plant, which is currently the world’s largest operational single-project solar PV plant.

A total of 60% of the project will be owned by a consortium comprising TAQA and Masdar, while the remaining 40% will be owned by EDF and JinkoPower.

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, said: “Through the award of the Al Dhafra project, the UAE is affirming once again its determination to lead the global transition to cleaner energy sources, deploying the latest advances in solar power technology at tremendous scale cost-efficiently.”

Bruno Bensasson, EDF Group Senior Executive Vice-President Renewable Energies and Chief Executive Officer of EDF Renewables, said: “The project 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.”

The project is expected to start generating power in 2022.

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