Oil and gas major Total and Spain-based solar company Abengoa Solar have been appointed to construct the largest concentrating solar power (CSP) plant in the world in Masdar, the carbon-zero city and renewable energy initiative of Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi aims to achieve 7% renewable energy generation by 2020.
Called “Shams 1,” this planned CSP plant will extend over an area of 2.5 square km and have a generation capacity of approximately 100MW. Once completed, it will be the first of its kind in the Middle East region, and the first CSP plant to be registered with the United Nation’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). This registration will make Shams 1 eligible for carbon credits.
“This project, which will be the first utility-scale, commercial solar power project in the UAE, represents the translation into reality of the vision the Abu Dhabi leadership had for renewable energy in the Emirate,” said Dr. Sultan Al-Jaber, CEO of Masdar. Looking ahead, Abengoa Solar’s director of international development Michael Geyer believes this project is only the beginning. “The Middle East,” he said, “is a region that offers both an unlimited solar resource and infinite site locations for implementation of solar plants in its deserts.”