The world’s largest solar power plant will soon be ready in the UAE

Elizabeth Smith

The United Arab Emirates, a major oil exporter, is spending billions to develop enough renewable energy to meet half of its needs by 2050 and is aiming for zero net carbon emissions by that year.

The Al Dhafra project, located in the desert about 35 kilometers (21.7 miles) south of the capital Abu Dhabi, will provide enough electricity for 160,000 households in a country of 10 million people. The plant, composed of giant double-sided solar panels that rotate toward the sun, occupies a site of more than 20 square kilometers.

Abu Dhabi, one of the world’s largest solar plants

Al Dhafra will be built in an area of about 20 km². It will be mounted with the latest solar modules based on bifacial crystalline module technology. The solar modules will capture sunlight from both sides for better yield.

The project includes a reduced solar PV tariff of AED 4.97 guilders/kWh ($1.35 cents/kWh), based on a levelized price of electricity (LCOE). Other infrastructure, such as inverters, transmission grid connection and associated facilities, will also be developed. It is also planned to upgrade the current battery capacity of 108 MW that is in operation in Abu Dhabi’s current electricity storage system.

Jinko Solar’s bifacial solar modules have broken the world record for conversion efficiency of bifacial solar modules, reaching 22.49 percent efficiency in January 2020. They feature an innovative transparent back sheet. The highly effective cell design of the modules also includes advanced metallization technologies and innovations unique to the company

The other solar plants in Abu Dhabi

The 100 MW Shams 1, located in Abu Dhabi, was the first solar plant in the area when it was launched in March 2013. It is a focused solar plant with 768 collection agencies that covers an area of 2.5 km² and provides electricity to more than 20,000 homes in the UAE.

Introduced in April 2019, the 1.17 GW Noor Abu Dhabi solar power plant (formerly known as Sweihan solar photovoltaic or pv power plant) is just one of the world’s largest solar power plants, located in the Al Dhafra area of Abu Dhabi. The Noor Abu Dhabi power plant is equipped with 3.2 million photovoltaic panels over an area of 8 km² and meets the electricity needs of 90,000 households in the UAE.

Read also: Cop28 in Dubai: the crucial themes of the international UN Climate Summit

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