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World’s largest solar power plant operational in UAE

This week, the world’s largest solar thermal power plant went live in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Credit: Shams Power

Credit: Shams Power

The 100 MW plant – called Shams 1 – is made up of parabolic trough solar thermal collectors that, with over 250,000 mirrors, reflect sunlight onto a pipe filled with fluid.

The sunlight heats the fluid, which then creates steam that powers a conventional steam turbine to generate electricity.

Each year, Shams 1 will displace 175,000 tons of carbon dioxide – that’s equivalent to planting 1.5 million trees or taking approximately 15,000 cars off the road

The project cost $600 million, and took 11,000,000 million man-hours to complete (without any major incidents).

Shams 1 coming online is a huge milestone for Abu Dhabi, an area with massive oil reserves but also with aspirations to generate at least seven percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.


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