Partnership to build world’s largest solar plant


Masdar, Total and Abengoa Solar have joined forces to build the world’s ‘most advanced’ solar plant.
Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s specialist in renewable and alternative energy solutions, appointed the bidding consortium of Total and Abengoa Solar as a partner to own, build and operate Shams 1. The site will be the first of its kind in the Middle East and the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant.
Shams 1 will contribute significantly to Abu Dhabi’s target of 7% renewable energy power generation by 2020.
Masdar, Total and Abengoa Solar are investing 60%, 20% and 20% respectively. The collaboration will develop, build, operate and maintain the plant which will be located in Madinat Zayed, which lies about 120 km southwest of Abu Dhabi. Shams 1, situated over 2.5km², will be the largest concentrated solar plant in the world.
The premise will feature an astounding capacity of 100 MW and a solar field consisting of Abengoa Solar’s 768 parabolic trough collectors. Construction is planned to commence during the 3rd quarter of 2010 and is expected to be complete within two years.
Dr Sultan Al-Jaber, CEO of Masdar, commented, “The launch of the Shams 1 marks a very important milestone for Masdar and for Abu Dhabi. I am very proud of the announcement we are making today because 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.”
He added, “In addition, Shams 1 will allow Masdar to transfer to Abu Dhabi the know-how and expertise we have gained from our involvement in developing world-class renewable energy projects abroad, thus not only opening the door for renewable energy projects in the UAE but also for technology transfer, contributing toward the development of a knowledge-based economy and new job opportunities through the specializations required to manage and operate the plant.”
Meanwhile, Philippe Boisseau, President of Total Gas & Power, responded to the agreement saying, “By participating in this ambitious project alongside Masdar and Abengoa Solar, Total develops its solar energy assets, enriches its portfolio of expertise with this first step in concentrated solar technology, and reaffirms its unique partnership with Abu Dhabi.”
Santiago Seage, CEO of Abengoa Solar, also expressed enthusiasm: “We have teamed with the most qualified partners in the region, Total and Masdar, to own and operate what will be the most advanced solar plant, featuring our cutting-edge technology.”

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