The Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC), a leading company in the coordination of planning, purchasing and providing of water and electricity across the UAE, announced a successful full year of commercial operations of Noor Abu Dhabi, the world’s largest single-site solar plant.
Located at Sweihan in Abu Dhabi, Noor Abu Dhabi, which means light in Arabic, covers an area of 8km2 and features 3.2 million solar panels. The plant is a joint venture between Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) and a consortium of Japan’s Marubeni Corp and China’s Jinko Solar Holding.
Since the commencement of its commercial operations, Noor Abu Dhabi solar plant has achieved a net production of 2,000 GWh providing electricity to 66,000 households and a 93% efficiency rate in terms of energy availability. The solar plant has achieved 404,835 man hours without lost time injuries as of end April 2020, a reflection of the company’s commitment to prioritising the highest international industry standards of health and safety.
Othman Al Ali, Chief Executive Officer of EWEC, said: “Solar energy is a proven, steady source of electricity supply for the UAE, as the country is blessed with abundant sunshine. As leaders in our field, we constantly strive to leverage our dynamic expertise, technology and resources to support the energy transition in the UAE, which is set to see a major acceleration towards renewable energy deployment. Looking ahead, Noor Abu Dhabi will continue to provide a world-leading, technologically advanced model for the effective use of solar power and we look forward to its continued success.”
Jasim Husain Thabet, Group CEO and Managing Director of TAQA, said: “It is a momentous occasion for all of us as Noor Abu Dhabi places the emirate on the global map as a leader in photovoltaic energy generation in the renewable energy sector. The successful completion and operations of the project reinforces our collective commitment towards building a sustainable future by investing in cost-effective, clean energy solutions that leverage and optimise our natural resources. Noor Abu Dhabi is also helping the UAE ensure a secure supply of power to meet the ever-growing needs of the country.”
At Noor Abu Dhabi, construction was completed 20 months after the official ground breaking with more than 2,900 people working on site during peak construction. The facility is expected to reduce Abu Dhabi’s CO2 emissions by one million tonnes, which is equivalent to taking 200,000 cars off the roads. It is also increasing its production of renewable energy and reducing its dependence on natural gas in electricity generation.
Satoru Harada, Chief Operating Officer, Power Business Division of Marubeni Corporation, said: “We are delighted to be a part of such a high calibre strategic partnership with EWEC, safely and reliably operating this important solar power plant, and delivering zero-carbon electricity in the UAE. This is a critical milestone, one that successfully sets Noor Abu Dhabi as a worldwide benchmark in renewable energy development, both in terms of technology and quality, as well as production efficiency. We look forward to celebrating many more years of mutual success with our partners and further contributing to the sustainable development of the country.”
Mr. Xiande Li, Chairman of JinkoSolar’s Board of Directors, said: “It is our privilege to participate and contribute to the successful execution of this prestigious project that will help power the sustainable economic growth of Abu Dhabi. The success of this project is a testimony to our commitment towards exchange of knowledge, investments and expertise, as we capitalise on the immense opportunity and scope that the UAE offers in defining its footprint in the renewable energy sector.”
Noor Abu Dhabi is the first of a significant future pipeline of projects EWEC will be implementing using sustainable technology and is a key milestone in the transformation of the energy sector. In line with the UAE’s Energy Strategy 2050, EWEC is implementing a strategic plan which, by 2030, will produce more than 50% of Abu Dhabi’s energy needs from renewable and clean energy sources. It will reduce the average carbon intensity of the system by more than 70% compared to 2015.
Beyond size, Noor Abu Dhabi broke another record at the time of bid submission in September 2016, attracting the world’s most competitive tariff of 8.888 fils/kWh.
The project has also won numerous awards throughout the development of the project, and most recently won Power Generation Project of the Year at the MEED Projects Awards 2020, and Utility Project of the Year at the 2020 Middle East Solar Awards, held by the Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA).