Masdar Connects 10-MW PV Plant to Abu Dhabi Grid

His Highness Sheikh Diab bin Zayed Al Nahyan, chair of Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA) recently inaugurated Masdar's 10-MW power plant, marking the integration of the largest solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in the Middle East to the Abu Dhabi municipal grid.

The solar power plant will provide clean energy to the temporary Masdar site administration facilities and power the ongoing construction activities of Masdar City. In addition, the plant will supply all the energy needs of The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, a graduate-level scientific institution dedicated to renewable energy study, which opens in late 2009.

"Masdar's 10-MW solar power plant is a testament to our leadership's dedication to the advancement of renewable energy. The connection of this plant marks an important milestone in the development of Masdar City and in our emirate's history," said Sultan Al Jaber, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Masdar. "We believe this is just the first delivery of the rich potential of solar energy and we will continue to deliver clean sources of energy to Abu Dhabi and beyond."

The connection of the solar power plant to Abu Dhabi's electrical grid was a joint effort by Masdar, Abu Dhabi Distribution Company (ADDC), and the Emirate's regulatory body, the Regulation and Supervision Bureau. ADDC, Abu Dhabi's main grid holder is responsible for operating and developing the distribution networks within the emirate.

The Regulation and Supervision Bureau, which regulates and awards licensing for power generation sources in Abu Dhabi, supplied Masdar with its first licence for renewable energy power. "This is a great example of entities in Abu Dhabi working together to find solutions that will advance the emirate's goal of providing clean energy on a large scale. " We are proud to be part of this landmark achievement," said Nick Carter, director general, Regulation and Supervision Bureau.

The plant, consisting of 87,777 panels (50 percent thin film and 50 percent crystalline silicon) is projected to generate 17,500 MWh of clean energy each year (with a single kWh of clean energy being the carbon-offset equivalent of 0.8 kg depending on an area's network and its energy-producing source.) With the construction costing Dhs185m ($50m) at an installed power capacity of 10 MW, the plant is also one of the most cost-efficient PV installations in the world in terms of its projected power output.

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