Located in Western Abu Dhabi, Shams 1 Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) was the largest renewable energy project in operation in the Middle East when launched in 2013. It occupies an area of 2.5 square kilometres and has a production capacity of 100 megawatts. The solar field has 768 parabolic trough collectors to generate clean, renewable electricity.
Shams 1 directly contributed toward Abu Dhabi’s target of 7 percent power-generation capacity from renewable energy by the year 2020. The plant is also helping the UAE diversify its energy mix and reduce the country’s carbon footprint. The plant displaces about 175,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, which is equivalent to planting 1.5 million trees or removing 15,000 cars from Abu Dhabi’s roads.
Concentrated solar power generates electricity from the heat of the sun rather than sunlight, as is the case with solar photovoltaic technology. Parabolic trough systems use solar thermal collectors in the form of parabolic mirrors, with a central tube to concentrate the heat from direct solar irradiation. The heat in turn produces steam to drive a conventional turbine, ultimately generating electricity.
Shams 1 has won four awards:
- MENASOL Awards 2016
- Emirates Energy Award 2013 - Large Energy Project Award - Dubai Supreme Council of Energy
- Project of the Year Award 2013 Emirates Solar Industry Association
- Middle East Renewable Energy Deal of the year 2010 - Project Finance Magazine