Masdar, along with its partners, today launched Shams 1, the largest concentrated solar power plant (CSP) in operation in the world. Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, partnered with French energy company Total and Spain’s energy infrastructure company Abengoa. The 100-megawatt solar-thermal project will power thousands of homes in the United Arab Emirates and displace approximately 175,000 tons of CO₂ per year. The US $600 million project took three years to build.
“The inauguration of Shams 1 is a major breakthrough for renewable energy in the Middle East,” said Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar. “Just like the rest of the word, the region is faced with meeting its rising demand for energy, while also working to reduce its carbon footprint. Shams 1 is a significant milestone, as large-scale renewable energy is proving it can deliver electricity that is sustainable, affordable and secure.”
Located in the UAE’s Western Region, in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, Shams 1 was designed and developed by Shams Power Company, a joint venture between Masdar (60 percent), Total (20 percent) and Abengoa Solar (20 percent). With the addition of Shams 1, Masdar’s renewable energy portfolio accounts for almost 68 percent of the Gulf’s renewable energy capacity and nearly 10 percent of the world’s installed CSP capacity.
“Abu Dhabi is investing and incubating a new energy industry, domestically and internationally,” said Dr. Al Jaber. “Through Masdar, the UAE is redefining the role it plays in providing the world with energy. From precious hydrocarbon exports to sophisticated renewable energy systems, we are balancing the energy mix and diversifying our economy – moving toward a more sustainable future. Today, the UAE is the only OPEC nation delivering both hydrocarbons and renewable energy to the international market.”Shams 1 is an example of how collaboration between companies can achieve large-scale, clean-energy solutions that help meet the world’s growing energy demands.