The world’s largest concentrated solar power plant, Shams 1 (Sun 1), has been constructed on 300 hectares of the desert at Madinat Zayed, some 120 kilometres to the southeast of Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates). The plant, which cost 600 million dollars, is fruit of a joint venture of three companies: Masdar (UAE, 60%), Total (France, 20%) and Abegoa Solar (Spain, 20%), a consortium that will also manage the plant’s operation and maintenance.
Shams 1 is part of an Abu Dhabi government plan whereby the EAU, one of the world’s biggest oil producers, will supply 7% of the country’s energy requirements in the form of renewable energy by 2020.
The new 100-megawatt (MW) plant houses a solar field of almost 600,000 m2 consisting of 768 parabolic troughs. Once in operation, the facility will cut annual CO2 emissions by 175,000 tons, which is approximately the equivalent of planting one and a half million trees or eliminating the use of 15,000 cars. The plant will provide electricity to 20,000 homes.
Video: Constructing Shams 1 in less than three minutes: