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World?s largest solar plant nears completion in Abu Dhabi

Image source: Masdar.

Masdar has announced that the largest single-unit solar power plant in the world is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2012 and will officially open in Abu Dhabi in Q1 2013

Covering an area of 2.5 sq km, Shams 1 has been built to provide 200,000 homes with electricity and will be able to generate over 100 MW.

The construction of Shams 2 and 3, which will both generate similar levels of electricity, is set to follow the completion of Shams 1.

"Shams 1 is the largest concentrated solar power project in the world,? said Yousuf Al Ali, general manager of Shams Power Company.

?Developing a project of this scale is a significant achievement for Abu Dhabi, Masdar and its partners, Total and Abengoa."

There are larger solar power plants and projects but they include multiple solar plants of less than 100 MW.

Construction of Shams 1, which began in 2010, has cost an estimated US$600mn.

Shams 1 is a joint venture between Masdar (60 per cent owners), Total (20 per cent) and Abengoa (20 per cent).