Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC) has announced that Noor Abu Dhabi, the world’s largest single solar project with a capacity of 1,177MW, has started commercial operations.

The project will enable Abu Dhabi to increase its production of renewable energy and reduce the use of natural gas in electricity generation, reducing the emirate’s carbon dioxide emissions by 1 million metric tonnes per year, the equivalent of removing 200,000 cars off the roads, state news agency WAM reported on Saturday.

The AED3.2 billion ($870 million) solar plant, located at Sweihan in Abu Dhabi, is a joint venture between the Abu Dhabi Government and a consortium of Japan’s Marubeni Corp and China’s Jinko Solar Holding.

Providing enough capacity for 90,000 people, the plant features more than 3.2 million solar panels, installed across an 8 sq km site.

Mohammad Hassan Al Suwaidi, chairman of EWEC 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 percent by 2050 while reducing the carbon footprint of power generation by 70 percent.»

Othman Jumaa Al Ali, EWEC’s CEO, added: «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.»