Shams Power has closed financing on its 100MW Shams 1 concentrated solar power (CSP) project in Madinat Zayed, United Arab Emirates. When completed, Shams 1 will be one of the largest CSP systems in the world, with investment coming from 10 major financial institutions and totalling US$600 million. 

Masdar, Total and Abengoa will plan, build, operate and maintain the plant which is located 120km southwest of Abu Dhabi. Lenders for the projects included BNP Paribas, the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Société Générale and the Bank of Toyko, with BNP Paribas acting as financial advisor.

“With this financial close we are going one step forward toward the completion of the Middle East’s largest solar power plant,” said Philippe Boisseau, president of Total Gas & Power. “We are pleased to partner with Masdar and Abengoa in this ambitious project. We are on schedule and the work is going well in Madinat Zayed.”

“Shams 1 is a milestone project for the region and will be a core contributor to Abu Dhabi’s long-term renewable energy objectives. As the first utility scale, commercial solar power project in the Middle East, Shams 1 represents the realisation of the vision that the Abu Dhabi leadership has for renewable energy in the Emirate. We thank our partners for their support and continued collaboration,” added Masdar’s CEO, Sultan Al-Jaber.

By 2020, Abu Dhabi hopes renewable energy power sources will account for 7% of the city’s energy requirements, and Shams 1 will play a key role in achieving this goal. Work will commence on the project in the third quarter 2010, and is scheduled for completion in two years’ time.