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Masdar Power commissions Spanish JV plant

Abu Dhabi, May 24, 2011

Masdar Power, one of the five integrated units of Abu Dhabi renewable energy initiative, said it has started the commissioning of its joint venture Gemasolar concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in Spain.

Announcing this on Tuesday, Masdar Power said it had tasted first success in the global arena with the delivery of the flagship Gemasolar CSP plant in Seville, Spain, through Torresol Energy, its JV with multinational technology leader Sener.

The first commercial-scale CSP plant in the world with central tower receiver has begun initial supply of electricity to 25,000 homes in the Andalucía region of Spain, the Abu Dhabi firm said.

When fully operational, it will help reduce atmospheric CO2 emissions by more than 30,000 tonnes a year, it added.

The technology behind this is revolutionary as it allows solar power to be stored and thus electricity to be produced even during the hours of darkness or poor daylight in the winter months, Masdar Power said.

The company pointed out that all its projects, both local and international, were on track and will consolidate its status as a leader in the renewable energy arena.

Some of Masdar Power’s initiatives within the UAE include Shams One concentrated solar power (CSP), Noor One solar photovoltaic (PV) and Sir Bani Yas onshore wind project.

Internationally, the other Masdar Power’s projects include the 1GW London Array offshore wind farm, the 6MW onshore wind farm in Seychelles and Masdar PV that produces amorphous silicon thin film photovoltaic modules eight times larger and more powerful than the industry standard at its plant in Germany.

'The Shams One project, the largest CSP plant in the Middle East, is on schedule and within budget. The whole project is set to go on-line during 2012,' said Mohamed Al Zaabi, general manager of Shams Power Company.

According to him, the joint venture with Abengoa Solar and Total is being built in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi over an area of 2.5 sq km.

On the progress, Al Zaabi said 45 per cent of the project had been completed in this one year since the project started. 'Excellent safety records had been established for the project -- 1.8 million man hours have been logged without lost time injury against 1,200 workers onsite.'

'Twenty per cent of the Solar Collectors (mirrors) have already been installed at site along with major equipments such as steam turbines. We will meet our target of being included among the most efficient and lowest cost producers of solar energy anywhere in the world,' he added.

'Shams One will generate power by concentrating the sun’s rays through hundreds of thousands of parabolic mirrors. These mirrors track the movement of the sun and concentrate the sunrays on a central receiver tube carrying oil.,' Al Zaabi stated.

The project, he noted, was also important for the local economy as new job opportunities have been created and new communities built in an area that has been perceived as barren and uninhabitable for long.

Noor One, the 100MW PV in Al Ain, is the second local solar project that Masdar Power is engaged in. With request of proposals for EPC and O&M released recently and award scheduled by year-end, the project will be largest PV plant of its kind.

The third local project that Masdar Power is involved with in the UAE is expected to boost eco tourism in Sir Bani Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The onshore wind farm is currently in the tendering phase, Al Zaabi pointed out.

According to him, the operational capacity of the project upon completion will be up to 30MW.

'The plant will be connected to the Abu Dhabi power grid. The construction of the project is expected to begin before the end of this year,' he added.

Frank Wouters, director at Masdar Power, said Masdar’s initiatives in the region tie up with Abu Dhabi’s target of sourcing a proportion of its power needs from renewable sources by 2020.

'The benefits of generating renewable energy in this emirate are many. It will help reduce dependence on fossil fuels, diversify the energy sector and increase security of supply,' explained Wouters.

'It also gives us first-hand expertise in renewable energy, offering excellent career opportunities for UAE national engineers and managers. This in turn will really strengthen our case when we seek to operate and invest in renewable energy operations abroad. By exporting our know-how, we create a new source of revenue,' he added.

According to Wouters, the construction of Masdar’s joint venture London Array is on track with the first of 175 foundations currently installed.

'Set to become the world’s largest offshore wind farm, the project will consist of up to 341 wind turbines and be rated at 1,000MW, producing enough energy to power 750,000 homes and displace the emissions of 1.9 million tonnes of CO2 per year.'

When fully operational, London Array will make a vital contribution to the UK government’s target of providing more than 15 per cent of power supply from renewable sources by 2015.

'Based on the current schedule the London Array project would represent nearly 7 per cent of this target,' said Wouters.

Masdar’s Seychelles wind power project too is running on schedule. 'Through its projects Masdar Power has turned into a major contributor to the Emirate’s recognition regarding renewable energy,' he added.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: abu dhabi | Renewable energy | solar power | Commission | Masdar Power |

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