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Abu Dhabi inaugurates world’s largest single-site solar power plant

The plant will provide power to the procurer EWEC, increasing Abu Dhabi's solar power production capacity to 3.2GW.

Abu Dhabi inaugurates world’s largest single-site solar power plant
[Source photo: Venkat Reddy/Fast Company Middle East]

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In collaboration with Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA), EDF Renewables, and JinkoPower, Masdar has launched the world’s largest single-site solar power plant. This initiative was undertaken with the Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC).

Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Deputy Ruler of Abu Dhabi, has announced the 2GW Al Dhafra Solar PV project. He emphasized that this project underscores the country’s commitment to increasing its share of clean energy, lowering carbon emissions, and contributing to global initiatives on climate action.

Situated 35 kilometers from Abu Dhabi city, the plant spans over 20 square kilometers of desert. It was constructed in a single phase, featuring nearly four million solar panels equipped with bi-facial technology. This innovative design enables sunlight capture on both sides of the panels, leading to increased yield.

Furthermore, the solar power project generates electricity to meet the needs of approximately 200,000 homes and aims to reduce 2.4 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually. The plant’s construction phase also contributed to almost 4,500 jobs.

TAQA holds a 40% ownership stake in the project, Masdar owns 20%, and EDF Renewables and Jinko Power each have a 20% stake in the venture.

Initially, the project established one of the most competitive tariffs for solar power at $1.35 cents/kWh. However, this rate was further reduced to $1.32 cents/kWh upon financial close.

“This world-leading project demonstrates remarkable progress in solar power efficiency, innovation and cost competitiveness – setting a new record-low tariff,” says Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, chairman of Masdar and COP28 President-Designate.

“With just days to go before the start of COP28, I will be asking the world to unite and deliver the energy transition by tripling renewables capacity and doubling energy efficiency by 2030. Al Dhafra is an example of the scale of the ambition needed worldwide,” he added.

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