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World’s largest single-site solar farm completed in UAE ahead of Cop28

November 26, 2023 at 3:24 pm

Employees walk past solar panels in Dubai, UAE on 20 March 2017 [STRINGER/AFP via Getty Images]

The world’s largest single-site solar power plant has been completed in the UAE, ahead of the UN climate change Cop28 to be hosted in Dubai later this month.

Located in the desert outside of the capital Abu Dhabi, the two-gigawatt Al Dhafra Solar Photovoltaic Project was co-developed with Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, French power company EDF Renewables and Chinese solar developer JinkoPower in partnership with local clean energy company Masdar.

According to South China Morning Post, the project’s main engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor, China National Machinery Industry Corporation said the 20 sq km (12.4 square miles) solar farm can power about 200,000 households. The project falls under Beijing’s flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), of which the UAE is an active participant.

The company said the plant was expected to help Abu Dhabi reduce carbon emissions by 2.4 million tonnes each year, which is the equivalent of taking more than half a million cars off the road. It will also take the proportion of clean energy to over 13 per cent of the emirate’s overall consumption.

So far, the solar farm has already produced 3.6 billion kilowatt-hours of clean electricity ahead of its official inauguration last Thursday, the outlet reported.

“As the UAE prepares to host Cop28, this pioneering project reflects the country’s ongoing commitment to raising its share of clean energy, reducing its carbon emissions and supporting the global efforts on climate action,” Abu Dhabi’s deputy ruler, Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al-Nahyan was quoted as saying at the inauguration.

“We are witnessing, day after day, project after project, that the UAE is at the global forefront of developing and adopting innovative clean energy solutions,” he said.

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