Abu Dhabi opens record breaking solar plant – and puts out tenders for bigger one still

Abu Dhabi has begun generating electricity from Noor Abu Dhabi, the world’s largest single-site solar project.

The "Light of Abu Dhabi" will have a maximum output of almost 1.2GW of electricity from some 3.2 million solar panels – giving it twice the capacity of Desert Sunlight in California, the previous record holder.

Awaidha Al Marar, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, commented: "The project helps increase renewable energy production while reducing the use of natural gas in electricity generation, which, in turn, cuts the emirate’s carbon emissions by 1 million tonnes annually and supports national sustainable development goals."

The plant in Suwaihan, 120km south-east of Abu Dhabi city, by a team made up of Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA) and a consortium made up of Japan’s Marubeni Corp and China’s JinkoSolar Holding. ADWEA owns 60% of the project and the private sector partners own 40%.

Meanwhile, the ADWEA has issued tenders for a 2GW plant at Al Dhafra, and has received 48 expressions of interest. The successful bidder will be in charge of financing, building, operating and maintaining the plant. The deadline for completion is the first quarter of 2022.

Image: No shortage of sunlight at the Noor Abu Dhabi (ADWEA)

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