$600mn Shams-1 project to launch March 17

Masdar project will prove technology works in harsh weather conditions

The 100MW project will be launched on March 17, officials have said.

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The world’s largest solar power plant currently in operation, located 120km south-west of Abu Dhabi, will be formally inaugurated on Sunday 17th March, officials have said.

The $600mn, 100 megawatt Shams-1 project aims to give its parent, Masdar, a competitive edge in developing and investing in similar projects in the region, a senior official at Shams-1 said.

As many as 30% of the employees at Shams are UAE nationals, which the company intends to increase to 40%.

“The project will build a track record for Masdar for developing such renewable projects that operate in harsh weather conditions that combine dust, high temperature and strong seasonal winds. With other countries in the region interested in pursuing similar renewable projects due to their obvious financial benefits, Masdar will gain a competitive edge over other developers,” Yousuf Al Ali, general manager at Shams Power Company said in an interview with local media outlets.

Al Ali said major equipment for the plant was built by more than 70 local companies, as well as foreign companies.

“The cost of electricity produced from photovoltaic is comparable and could be even lower compared to electricity generated from diesel.”

He added: “The UAE leadership is investing in new energy technologies because that’s the future.”

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