Masdar City’s 10-MW solar PV power plant activated

A 10-MW solar photovoltaic power plant near Masdar City, Abu Dhabi--said to be the largest of its kind in the Middle East/North Africa region--has been activated and connected to the grid. The project, which began construction in January, was designed and built by solar integrator Enviromena Power System. Electricity from the 55-acre installation will help provide energy for the initial construction work at Masdar City.

The UAED185 million ($50 million) system features 87,777 crystalline-silicon and CdTe thin-film PV modules, with half of the panels provided by Suntech, the other half by First Solar, respectively. Estimated output for the array is 17,500 MW-hr per year. On the basis of this projected power output, Enviromena says the project is one of the most quickly constructed, cost-efficient PV installations in the world.

Enviromena VP Sander Trestain, who managed the construction and startup of the solar power system, said that his company is "delighted that the plant is performing as expected" and that his team was "able to deliver the installation on budget and on schedule. This facility proves that utility-scale, grid-connected renewable energy projects are feasible in Abu Dhabi and the wider region."

He also noted the implementation of "highly innovative clean construction techniques," which included using "concrete with recycled content and a carbon management company to offset emissions from all site construction activities, reusing and recycling materials extensively across the site, and rigorously engineering the system to reduce the total amount of steel installed."

The development of Masdar City, the world's first carbon-neutral, zero-waste city fully powered by renewable energy, is part of the Masdar Initiative, a multifaceted Abu Dhabi initiative wholly owned by the Mubadala Development Co. to advance the development, commercialization, and deployment of renewable energy.

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