EWEC announces completion of world’s largest single solar project in Abu Dhabi

$871.2mn Noor Abu Dhabi solar project has a capacity of 1,177MW

Noor Abu Dhabi, the world’s largest single solar project, with a capacity of 1,177MW, has begun commercial operation, Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC), a company specialising in the planning, purchasing and providing of water and electricity across the UAE, has announced.

According to a statement released by EWEC, the project will enable Abu Dhabi to increase its production of renewable energy and reduce the use of natural gas in electricity generation, helping to make energy more sustainable and efficient, reducing the Emirate’s carbon dioxide emissions by one million metric tons per year – the equivalent of removing 200,000 cars off the roads.

Located at Sweihan in Abu Dhabi, the $871.2 million solar plant is a joint venture between the Abu Dhabi Power Corporation and a consortium of Japan’s Marubeni Corp and China’s Jinko Solar Holding. The plant features more than 3.2 million solar panels installed across an 8sqkm site and provides enough capacity to cover the demand of 90,000 people.

Beyond its size, Noor Abu Dhabi has broken another record at the time of bid submission, attracting the world’s most competitive tariff of 8.888 fils/kWh, the statement added.

The achievement of Commercial Operation Date (COD) means that the plant is now completed and has started full commercial operation. In order to reach this milestone on time, more than 2,900 people worked on site during peak construction, it said.

“The completion of the project marks a significant milestone in the UAE’s Energy Strategy 2050, launched in 2017, to increase the contribution of clean energy in the total energy mix to 50% by 2050 while reducing the carbon footprint of power generation by 70%. This is in line with the sector’s transformation strategy by providing alternative sources of energy that can help us improve the sustainability of the water and electricity sector,” said Mohammad Hassan AL Suwaidi, chairman of EWEC.

“Noor Abu Dhabi will generate renewable energy and will enable us to improve the use of our natural resources. The fact that a project of such scale has been successfully completed on time and on budget highlights our commitment to ensuring sustainable energy for the future and it is a true testament of the Emirate’s delivery capabilities to execute world-class energy projects. Noor Abu Dhabi will further contribute to the UAE’s renewable sector, exponentially increasing the existing solar capacity of Abu Dhabi, as well as adding to the continuously growing solar capacity of the UAE,” added Othman Jumaa Al Ali, EWEC’s CEO.

Kangping Chen, CEO of Jinko Solar pointed out that the project wouldn’t be where it is without the seamless collaboration amongst partners and stakeholders. He highlighted the government team’s work in creating a world-class tender programme, and the high level of professionalism and support that they displayed.

“We are very pleased to deliver the world’s largest solar PV independent power project into full commercial operations within budget and on schedule, and we appreciate the leadership of EWEC and the support of our other business partners in this achievement.

“This project represents a significant milestone not only for the UAE and the region, but for the global solar industry and for the future of renewable energy. As the Managing Member of this project, Marubeni will contribute to the UAE Energy Strategy through the project’s operations phase and we continue to contribute to the global energy sector as a leading energy solutions provider,” concluded Yoshiaki Yokota, chief operating officer, Power Business Division of Marubeni Corporation.


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