Abu Dhabi: Oil-rich Abu Dhabi yesterday officially opened the world's largest concentrated solar power plant, which cost $600 million to build and will provide electricity to 20,000 homes.
The 100-megawatt Shams 1 is "the world's largest concentrated solar power plant in operation" said Sultan Al Jaber, the head of Abu Dhabi's Masdar, which oversees the emirate's plan to generate seven per cent of its energy needs by 2020 from renewable sources.
Masdar now produces 10 per cent of the world's concentrated solar power, he said during the official inauguration.
The solar park features long lines of parabolic mirrors spread over an area equivalent to 285 football pitches in the desert of the Western Region, some 120 kilometres southwest of Abu Dhabi.
Masdar owns 60 per cent of the project, while France's Total and Spain's Abengoa Solar own 20 per cent each.
Abu Dhabi seeks by 2020 to generate at least seven per cent of its power from renewable sources. It already operates a 10 megawatt solar facility at the Masdar City development and plans a 100 megawatt photovoltaic plant called Noor 1.