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Shams 1 inaugurated in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabis Masdar has launched the Shams 1 solar power plant in collaboration with French energy company Total and Spain?s energy infrastructure firm Abengoa Solar

Shams 1, a 100-megawatt solar-thermal project that is expected to power 20,000 homes in the UAE and displace around 49.5bn cubic metres of carbon dioxide per year, costed US$600mn and took three years to build.

Designed and developed by Shams Power Company, a joint venture between Masdar (60 per cent), Total (20 per cent) and Abengoa Solar (20 per cent), Shams 1 has become the largest concentrated solar power plant (CSP) in operation in the world, a Total press release stated.

Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar, said, ?The region is faced with meeting its rising demand for energy, while also working to reduce its carbon footprint. Shams 1 is a significant milestone, as large-scale renewable energy is proving it can deliver electricity that is sustainable, affordable and secure.?

With the addition of Shams 1, Masdar?s renewable energy portfolio accounts for almost 68 per cent of the Gulf?s renewable energy capacity and nearly 10 per cent of the world?s installed CSP capacity.

Al Jaber added, ?Through Masdar, the UAE is redefining the role it plays in providing the world with energy. From precious hydrocarbon exports to sophisticated renewable energy systems, we are balancing the energy mix and diversifying our economy ? moving toward a more sustainable future.?

Santiago Seage, CEO of Abengoa Solar, said, ?The abundance of solar energy is an opportunity to integrate sustainable, clean sources of power that address energy security and climate change.?