The oil-rich United Arab Emirates (UAE) officially opened the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant “Shams-1”. This is the largest solar power plant in the world with the capacity of 100 MW. The plant includes a huge field of parabolic mirrors located in the desert about 74 miles (120 kilometers) in the south of Abu Dhabi which can serve 20,000 homes. The estimated cost to build this large project is approx. $600 million.
In this concentrated solar power plant, around 258 thousand mirrors are used to concentrate the sun energy for heating the fluid, which produces steam to run the 125 MW turbine of weight 220 tons to make electricity. The plant still requires some natural gas to “superheat” the fluid.
If the plant’s power was produced using fossil fuels, it would involve pumping 175,000 tCo2 into the atmosphere every year. Producing the same amount of power using sunlight is the equivalent of planting 1.5 million trees or taking 15,000 cars off the road.
This Plant was developed by Shams Power Company, a joint venture between Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company (60%), French oil giant Total (20 %) and Spanish energy infrastructure company Abengoa Solar (20%). There are also larger concentrated solar energy projects that are near completion, but aren’t yet plugged into their local grids. Similar to this project, Shams 2 and Shams 3 plants are also in the way.
Er. Sheelam Khare…