The world’s biggest concentrated solar power plant has gone online in the United Arab Emirates yesterday. ‘Shams 1‘ was designed and developed by Shams Power Company, and is owned by the giants in the industry – Masdar, Abengoa Solar and Total.
Located in the richest in oil reserves Middle East, the power plant covers an area of nearly 1 square mile. The construction took three years and cost almost $600 million.
The electricity generated would be sufficient to power more than 20,000 households and it is estimated that it could displace around 175,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year.
The opening of the solar power plant is expected to help the country meet their 2020 target of producing 7% of their energy from renewable sources. According to one of the key investors, Shams Power Company, concentrated solar power systems are fast to build, they are cheap and they can be installed in many other areas in the country.
The CEO of Masdar, Ahmed Al Jaber, proudly states that the solar power plant marks the beginning of a new trend in energy production in the region. Considering that the demand for energy is constantly increasing, switching from oil to solar is essential.
Al Jaber also adds that the Middle East is making further investments in the renewable energy industry, with Shams 1 only setting the initial example.