The Shams Concentrated Solar Power planr in the Al Dhafra Region will enter a new decade after a series of successes, underscoring the UAE’s leadership in renewable environmentally-friendly energy, and coinciding with the Year of Sustainability and the preparations to host COP28 in November 2023.
Ten years after its establishment, the concentrated solar power station continues to play a leading role in the energy transition process and the shift to renewable and environmentally-friendly energy.
The plant, located in an area measuring 2.5 square kilometres, has successfully generated electricity for more than 200,000 houses in Abu Dhabi over the past 10 years while offsetting the production of 1.75 million tonnes of carbon emissions.
With a capacity of 100 megawatts (MW), the plant plays a key role in shaping the features of the renewable energy sector in the UAE and the Middle East and North Africa region and represents a successful model of unified efforts and beneficial partnerships.
Its procedures for producing electricity utilise the latest international technologies used in this area. This involves concentrated sunlight passing through mirrors into tubes filled with special oil with high thermal conductivity. The process then produces steam, which in turn drives a turbine steam boiler for electric power generation.
In a video report broadcast by the Emirates News Agency (WAM), titled “Shams .. Tomorrow’s Energy,” Majed Al Awadi, General Manager of the Shams Power Company, said that since its launch, the Shams Solar Power Station had produced over 2,000 gigawatt-hours of clean energy, helping achieve the country’s environmental objectives and diversifying its sources of energy.
He stressed that the power station staff also completed over 2.7 million working hours without serious injuries.
Over the past decade, the power station has created job opportunities for young citizens and helped develop their skills and capacities in clean energy, he added. The power station houses the “Al Dhafra Innovation Centre,” inaugurated last year by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region, the first interactive centre in the region showcasing the work of the Shams Power Company and the UAE’s stature in the clean and renewable energy sector.
“Through the centre, we aim to motivate and inspire the youth to become leaders who can establish a more sustainable future,” Al Awadi said. The power station produces clean energy by using solar power and converting it into electricity, reducing carbon emissions compared to traditional methods of energy production.
Over the past ten years, the plant has offset the release of more than 1.75 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, equivalent to planting 15 million trees or removing 150,000 vehicles from the streets of Abu Dhabi, he explained. Sustainability has become an integral part of people’s daily lives, highlighting the efforts to promote the principles of sustainability among the company’s employees, partners and the centre’s visitors, he affirmed.
He expressed his pride for the country hosting COP28, which completes the UAE’s efforts and pioneering role in addressing climate change. He added that the power station is cooperating with officials and relevant authorities to host visitors and enthusiasts and organising various events and discussions at the centre.
Ali Al Masabai, Manager of the Shams Solar Power Station, said that the station uses the latest solar power technologies, including over 258,000 mirrors installed on 768 complexes of parabolic reflectors that extend over the area of the solar field, which accounts for 95 percent of the station’s total area.
The establishment of the power station continues the legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in protecting the environment. It underscores the significant efforts of the UAE’s leadership, which prioritises the development of the clean and renewable energy sector.
The Shams Solar Power Station is the cornerstone of the UAE’s transition into clean energy.