Trina Solar delivers 800MW of modules to UAE’s Al Dhafra plant

Trina Solar’s module assembly line. Credit: Trina Solar

Solar Module Super League member (SMSL) Trina Solar has delivered 800MW of solar modules to the 2GW Al Dhafra PV plant in the UAE, one of the largest single-site solar projects in the world.

The Chinese company delivered its 210mm Vertex modules to the China Machinery Engineering Corporation for deployment at the Al Dhafra plant. The project, which is owned by the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company and Masdar, comprises around 3.5 million modules in total.

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The project is also the first of its scale to feature bifacial PV panels, in an attempt to improve its overall efficiency.

Trina Solar’s technology builds on a similar module, the 210mm Vertex panel, which boasts a capacity of 600MW and was tested by German equipment tester TÜV Rheinland in Saudi Arabia, and the company is optimistic that the module’s strong performance will lead to similarly effective operations in the similar climate of the UAE.

The announcement is the latest instance of a large energy company involving itself in the Al Dhafra plant. In 2020, EDF Renewables and Jinko Power Technology, itself a subsidiary of fellow SMSL member Jinko Solar, announced plans to fund the Al Dhafra project, alongside a funding consortium of BNP Paribas and the Bank of China.

EDF Renewables and Jinko then signed a power purchase agreement with the Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC) to supply power to the UAE grid, to which the massive project was connected in April this year. With the project now producing power, stakeholders across the UAE and the global solar sector will be keen to see its success, as large-scale solar projects such as these figure to be a key component of the world’s efforts to decarbonise its energy mix.

The news follows EWEC’s call for proposals to build a new solar project in Abu Dhabi earlier this year. The group expects this project to have a capacity of 1.5GW, and would bring the country’s total solar capacity up to 4GW. These investments will be integral to the UAE reducing its reliance on fossil fuels.

According to the Energy Institute’s Statistical Review of World Energy, in 2022, the UAE used 698.48TWh of power from gas sources and 607.25TWh of power from oil, compared to just 18.13TWh from solar facilities.

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