Abu Dhabi's new solar farm to break the record set by Noor
The world’s largest solar power plant — Noor Abu Dhabi — started generating power in July 2019, with a capacity of 1,177 MW that can meet the power needs of 90,000 people. Now, the Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC), a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Power Corporation (ADPower), has received bids for its 2 GW Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Independent Power Producer (IPP) project, to be located in the Al Dhafra region in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
Being the largest Emirate forming 87% of the UAE, Abu Dhabi does not lack space for installing the world’s biggest solar power places, especially with the amount of sunlight it is blessed with.
The new solar farm is expected to cover an area of 20 sq km, and generate enough electricity to power up to 110,000 homes across the UAE.
The bids received for the project tender included the financing, construction, operation and maintenance of the solar plant, including installation of solar PV modules, inverters, connection to the transmission network and associated facilities.
Once operational, the plant will lift Abu Dhabi’s solar power capacity to around 3.2 GW, further reducing the emirate’s CO2 emissions by more than 1.6 million metric tons per year - equal to removing around 330,000 cars from the road - improving efficiency and driving sustainability, while catering for the growth in demand across the UAE.
The title of the biggest solar plants are becoming a bit too common, as the prices for installing the plant and generating electricity fall with advancement of technology. However, while the area covered by the solar PVs is strongly correlated to the capacity of the plant, it is much more important to focus on the technology used, which can sustain itself for a longer period of time, and produce, store and transmit electricity at a cheaper rate.
Per statement of the new solar plant, “As part of the tendering process issued in July 2019, an optional bid for significant battery storage was allowed and has resulted in substantial market interest. This added option provided an opportunity to build on the existing 108 MW battery capacity that can last for up to six hours, already operational in Abu Dhabi’s current electricity storage system.”
This year, EWEC has already delivered the world’s current largest single-site solar PV project, Noor Abu Dhabi, on time and on budget. We continue to deliver on our ambitious sustainable generation program, and this new plant is integral to our strategic plan to deliver on the clean energy mix outlined by the UAE Energy Strategy 2050.Othman Al Ali, chief executive officer of EWEC
Following the bids received, EWEC’s team will now start the detailed technical evaluation followed by the commercial evaluation process to select the best proposal, with the award announcement expected to take place by Q1 2020.