Sun 05-04-2020 15:55 PM
ABU DHABI, 5th April, 2020 (WAM) -- Shams, one of the world’s largest concentrated solar power plants, continues to significantly contribute to the UAE’s clean energy transition, and is helping the country prepare for the next 50 years In the following report, Emirates News Agency, WAM, will present the journey of Shams, which is celebrating its 7th anniversary.
Operated by Shams Power Company and owned by Masdar, one of the world’s leading clean energy companies, and Total and Abu Dhabi Pension Fund, the pioneering 100-megawatt plant has played a key role in shaping the renewable energy sector in the UAE and MENA region.
"Our journey towards excellence and success relies on building bridges of cooperation with unique entities in all fields," said Khalaf Abdullah Rahma Al Hammadi, Director-General of Abu Dhabi Pension Fund, adding, "This has been achieved over the past years through our fruitful partnership and successful investment in Shams Power Company, which has seen many achievements worldwide in the field of clean energy."
Shams has paved the way for other ambitious clean energy projects, as the country prepares for the next 50 years of its development, including the world’s largest solar plant, Noor Abu Dhabi, and the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai. Shams represented the world’s largest financing transaction for a solar energy project in 2011, when the company announced the financial closing of the US$600 million project.
"Looking back over the past seven operating years, and almost 10 years since the commencement of this project, we are proud and privileged to be a part of this visionary venture," said Majed Al Awadhi, General Manager, Shams Power Company, adding, "By undertaking this investment, UAE leaders were among the first in the world and in the MENA region who recognised the importance of clean energy, sustainability and diversification for growth."
Located 120 kilometres from Abu Dhabi in the Al Dhafra region, Shams powers more than 20,000 homes and displaces 175,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. The plant covers an area of 2.5-square-kilometres, or the equivalent of 285 football fields, and includes 258,048 parabolic trough mirrors.
"Today, utility-scale solar plants are increasingly common in the Middle East and, without question, projects such as Shams helped pave the way," said Yousif Al Ali, Executive Director, Masdar Clean Energy and Chairman of Shams Power Company.
Currently, UAE citizens hold 75 percent of management positions and 70 percent of the female employees at Shams Power Company are also UAE citizens.
Abdulaziz Al Mheiri, a Plant Manager at Shams, said, "The renewable energy that we produce here, while maintaining the highest HSE standards, minimises carbon emissions and pollution, and has a much lower impact on our environment. Solar plants play a prominent role in the UAE today, and I am proud that we were the first project to trigger this change."
As part of its commitment to the community, Shams Power Company will soon be launching the Al Dhafrah Innovation Centre, the region’s first interactive hub for knowledge about renewable energy, sustainable development, the UAE’s clean energy projects, in general, and Shams Power Company, in particular.