Masdar JV to build 120MW solar park on capped UAE landfill

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The agreement was signed remotely this week by Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Masdar’s chief executive officer, andKhaled Al Huraimel, group chief executive officer of Bee’ah. Image: Emirates Waste to Energy Company.

Renewables developer Masdar is constructing a 120MW solar farm on a 47-acre landfill in Sharjah, UAE.

The park will be built in three phases on top of the Bee’ah Al Sa’jah landfill, close to the Sharjah Waste to Energy facility and Bee’ah’s Waste Management Complex.  

It will be built by Emirates Waste to Energy Company, a joint venture between UAE-based waste management company Bee’ah, and Masdar. It is the first time a UAE landfill will be converted into a solar park, with the first phase of construction set to be completed by 2023. The JV will be responsible for the financing, design, material procurement and construction of the project, and will also provide O&M services as part of a 25-year lease.

Emirates Waste to Energy Company is also constructing a 30MW Sharjah Waste to Energy facility in Bee’ah’s Waste Management Complex, which is due for completion this year.

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Masdar’s chief executive officer, said the initiative will set “a benchmark” for new ways to drive the region's sustainability goals as it attempts to resolve a growing waste problem.

“This project highlights how we can utilise closed landfills to deliver clean energy, while simultaneously supporting the UAE’s clean energy targets and UN Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.

“We are confident that this project can become a benchmark for other landfill sites in the region.”

Khaled Al Huraimel, group chief executive officer of Bee’ah and executive chairman of the JV, said it could “replicate” the initiative for other cities in the Middle East.

“Bee’ah is looking to create new value from capped landfills while supporting the deployment of renewable energy in the UAE and I am confident that we can replicate this same model of success for other cities in the Middle East,” he said.

Masdar’s latest plans to develop new renewables solutions in the UAE were announced as part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) on 18 January.

At the ADSW Summit, held remotely on 19 January, Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, vice president of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, told attendees that initiatives in the UAE “present to the world a practical model on the economic feasibility of renewable energy” and domenstrate the effectiveness of collaboration between energy companies “to achieve tangible progress”.

Outside of the joint venture, Masdar is also constructing a 2GW solar farm in Abu Dhabi’s Al Dhafra area, and signed an agreement on the 17 January to explore the development of green hydrogen for the city’s aviation, shipping and transport infrastructure alongside Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, airlines Etihad Airways and Lufthansa Group, the Khalifa University of Science and Technology, Germany’s Siemens Energy, and Japan’s Marubeni Corporation.

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