Week in the Middle East: Biggest Solar Plant by Masdar, Emerson & SirajPower Partners for Green Energy Project, and more




Biggest Solar Plant by Masdar in Armenia


Armenia is expanding its renewable energy capacity with a new plan to build two new solar power plants. Masdar and the Armenian government finalized an agreement to build a solar power plant by 2025 in Armenia. Ayg-1 is a 200 MW plant that will become Armenia’s largest solar plant. The plant will have around half of the current capacity of Armenia’s main energy generator. The plant will be built in the Aragatsotn province of central Armenia over 500 hectares. 85% of the plant will be owned by Masdar and the remaining 15% will be held by Armenian National Interest Fund (ANIF). Masdar is a subsidiary of Mubadala Investment Company, which is UAE’s sovereign wealth fund. In 2020, Masdar signed a contract to build a 200 MW solar plant in southern Azerbaijan. Armenia highly relies on natural gas and nuclear fuel imports from Russia as it does not have any fossil fuel reserves. From the past one decade, the country has started seeing the relevance and potential of solar energy as the prices were dropping.

Emerson Partners with SirajPower for Green Energy Project at Dubai

Emerson collaborated with SirajPower for a new project of installing a solar rooftop plant in its Dubai office. The office situated at the Middle East and Africa Head Office is now the largest solar rooftop plant in a single location within Jebel Ali. The project is fully designed, financed, constructed, and operated by SirajPower. It is covering an area of 19,340 sqm across four of Emerson’s office buildings and warehouses with 5,489 solar panels in Jebel Ali South. This system will generate 3.923 GWh of clean energy every year and has a capacity of 2.6 MWp. Annually, this solar plant will diminish the company’s carbon emissions by 2,891 metric tons. The plant is anticipated to go live by Q4. The project also aligns with DEWA’s Shams Dubai program which is an initiative to make Dubai the world’s smartest city through using various energy mixes and by encouraging the use of renewable and clean energy sources.

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Construction Begins of the Floating Solar Plant in Masdar

Masdar is one of the leading companies for renewable energy. In recent news, Masdar and PT PJBI (subsidiary of Indonesia’s state-owned electricity company PT PLN) has now started its construction work on the Cirata Floating Photovoltaic Power Plant project. This is Indonesia’s first floating solar power plant. The plant will start its operation in Q4 2020. The capacity of this plant is 145-megawatt (ac). This plant will be largest in the Southeast Asia and one of the biggest across the world. It is built on the Cirata reservoir in the West Java Province. The plant will power 50,000 homes and will add nearly 800 jobs. By 2025, Indonesia is targeting 23% of its energy mix coming from renewable energy under its Electricity Infrastructure Acceleration Programme. Also, The Indonesian government recently announced to raise the proportion of renewable power to 48% in the 2021-2030 national electricity plan, from 30% as per its previous plan.

Green Hydrogen Project by TAQA and Emirates Steel

TAQA (Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC) is one of the biggest listed integrated utilities in the Middle East. TAQA CEO and Managing Director, Jasim Husain Thabet, and CEO of Emirates Steel, Engineer Saeed Ghumran Al Remeithi signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for developing a large-scale green hydrogen project enabling the first green steel produced in the MENA region. The green hydrogen will help in low carbon steel manufacturing, saving energy while creating a sustainable and clean manufacturing process as well as for the transportation sector. This project also lays the foundation for growth and expansion to cater the international demand. TAQA’s 2030 strategy for growth comprises of increasing gross power capacity from 18 GW to 30 GW in the Middle East and up to 15 GW globally and green hydrogen is a valuable part of it. By 2030, solar PV will be more than 30% capacity of the generation portfolio in renewable energy.

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Collaboration of DEWA’s R&D Centre and Stanford University

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA)’s R&D Centre Collaborates with Stanford University to develop an advanced system to forecast PV production with the Space D program. This development will take place at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park (the biggest single-site solar park worldwide) using the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model. By 2030, it will have a capacity of 5,000MW. The new system will help in reducing errors to less than 10% during the forecast. This will assist DEWA in achieving the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 which aims at providing clean energy by 2050 to 75% of Dubai’s total power capacity. Modern technologies like deep learning, artificial intelligence, high-density cameras on the main satellite, and a network of metrological stations to predict irradiance, dust, and cloud movement, are used under this system which can affect the performance of PV.

Water Extraction from Air through Solar at Masdar, UAE

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The world’s first project to extract water from air using solar will be launched in August at Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, UAE. This will produce an uninterrupted water supply. The pilot project for the same will takes place between AQUOVUM (a US-based water technologies company) and Masdar and Khalifa University of Science and Technology. The project will evaluate the performance of AQUOVUM’s large-format Atmospheric Water Generation (AWG) technology with a renewable energy source, and its ability to be included in current and/or future sustainable water projects. As per the Global Market Insights, The market is expected to grow more than 25% (CAGR) across the world and 30% in Africa and the Middle East region with the contribution of AWG technology. Azelio AB, Sweden, will supply the green power needed for 24/7 electrical thermal energy storage at Masdar Institute Solar Platform.

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