Despite still being associated with oil money, United Arab Emirates (UAE) just set a record for reducing its dependence on oil. On Saturday, Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC) has announced that ‘Noor Abu Dhabi,’ the largest individual solar power project in the world has started commercial operation.
At 1.18 GW of peak capacity, it will enable Abu Dhabi to increase its production of renewable energy and reduce the use of natural gas in electricity generation. The project is the work of a consortium that includes Abu Dhabi Power Corporation, Japan’s Marubeni Corp and Chinese solar manufacturer Jinko Solar.
It is estimated that 3.2 million panels of Noor Abu Dhabi project – installed across an 8 square kilometer site – will provide enough power to meet the demand of 90,000 people. The $870 million project will lower the carbon dioxide emissions by 1 million metric tonnes (984,206 imperial tons) per year, the equivalent of pulling 200,000 cars off the roads.
The world’s largest single solar plant, Noor Abu Dhabi, with a production capacity of nearly 1,177 MW commences commercial operation – a major milestone for the future of #sustainablenergy pic.twitter.com/HHVMyaMXYY
— المكتب الإعلامي لحكومة أبوظبي (@admediaoffice) June 29, 2019
It’s not only about the size, but Noor Abu Dhabi also broke another record at the time of bid submission when the project attracted the world’s most competitive power tariff of 8.888 fils/kWh.
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To reach this milestone on time, nearly 3000 people were working on site during peak construction.
“Noor Abu Dhabi will generate renewable energy and will enable us to improve the use of our natural resources,” said Othman Jumaa Al Ali, CEO, EWEC, according to Forbes report. “The fact that a project of such scale has been successfully completed on time and on budget highlights our commitment to ensuring sustainable energy for the future and it is a true testament of the Emirate’s delivery capabilities to execute world-class energy projects.”
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“The completion of the project marks a significant milestone in the UAE’s Energy Strategy 2050, launched in 2017, to increase the contribution of clean energy in the total energy mix to 50% by 2050 while reducing the carbon footprint of power generation by 70%,” said Mohammad Hassan Al Suwaidi, Chairman of EWEC.