Global renewable energy firm Masdar, along with its other partners, has just launched a 2 GW single-site solar power plant in the United Arab Emirates ahead of the COP28 that will kick off from November 30 to December 12.
Masdar boasts that Al Dhafra Solar PV is currently the “world’s largest single-site solar power plant,” owing to its capability to power about 200,000 households throughout the UAE.
Al Dhafra solar farm highlights
The ground-breaking Al Dhafra solar farm project is about 35 km near m Abu Dhabi city. It can generate 2 gigawatts (GW) of solar power capacity.
It provides electricity to Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC), boosting Abu Dhabi’s solar power generation output to 3.2 GW.
Notably, the farm employs nearly a million bifacial solar panels to sufficiently power roughly 200,000 homes across the country.
It also features the most advanced crystalline and bifacial solar technology. In effect, it cuts 2.4 million tonnes of carbon emissions per year.
“This world-leading project demonstrates remarkable progress in solar power efficiency, innovation and cost competitiveness – setting a new record-low tariff.Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, chairman of Masdar and COP28 President-Designate
Numerous companies significantly helped Masdar inaugurate the Al Dhafra solar farm, including Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA), EDF Renewables, and JinkoPower and procurer Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC).
Masdar stated in the press release that it has 20% of the Al Dhafra Solar PV, TAQA owns 40%, while EDF and JinkoPower equally hold the other 40%.
They secured the financial aspect of the project in December 2020, and full operation commenced in June 2022.
The Al Dhafra solar farm secured one of the world’s most competitive solar power tariffs at $1.32/kWh.
“To create Al Dhafra, Masdar brought together three partners from around the world: TAQA, EDF of France and JinkoPower of China. With just days to go before the start of COP28, I will be asking the world to unite and deliver the energy transition by tripling renewables capacity and doubling energy efficiency by 2030. Al Dhafra is an example of the scale of the ambition needed around the world.”Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, chairman of Masdar and COP28 President-Designate
UAE Energy Strategy 2050
As mentioned, the UAE is set to launch the COP28 in Dubai from November 30 to December 12, 2023. That said, the inauguration of the Al Dhafra strategically aligns with the event to create an impactful PR.
The project is also a crucial part of the UAE Energy Strategy 2050, as noted by Electrek. For context, it aims to achieve an energy combination of 44% clean energy, 38% gas, 12% clean coal and 6% nuclear. The country also aims to hit carbon neutrality by 2050, but it may be challenging as it plans to still maintain 50% fossil fuel.