The United Arab Emirates has just drastically reduced its dependence on oil to power its grid systems.
The Emirate Water and Electricity Company has founded Noor Abu Dhabi, the largest individual solar power project in the world. While some solar parks are larger, they are run by multiple companies that share a space.
At a peak capacity of 1.18 gigawatts, with 3.2 million solar panels, the solar park will be the individual project with the highest output in the world.
The world's largest individual solar park
The only solar parks larger than this one are run by several companies sharing a space. In fact, UAE's new, enormous Noor Abu Dhabi is so large that the US' biggest facility, the 569MW Solar Star, is small in comparison.
The park will provide enough energy to power 900,000 people and will reduce Abu Dhabi's CO2 emissions by 1 million metric tons, the UAE claims.
The world’s largest single solar plant, Noor Abu Dhabi, with a production capacity of nearly 1,177 MW commences commercial operation - a major milestone for the future of #sustainablenergy pic.twitter.com/HHVMyaMXYY— المكتب الإعلامي لحكومة أبوظبي (@admediaoffice) 29 June 2019
Emirates Water and Electric also has plans for a 2GW solar project, and Saudi Arabia has an initial agreement for 2.6GW of solar power in Mecca, Engadget reports. This marks a great shift away from the traditional reliance on oil in the region.
The Noor Abu Dhabi plant is a joint venture between the Abu Dhabi Government and a consortium made up of China's Jinko Solar Holding and Japan's Marubeni Corp.
A significant milestone
As TechSpot reports, Mohammad Hassan Al Suwaidi, Chairman of EWEC, has been talking about the strength of the new project and what it means going forward for sustainable energy:
"The completion of the project marks a significant milestone in the UAE’s Energy Strategy 2050, launched in 2017, to increase the contribution of clean energy in the total energy mix to 50% by 2050 while reducing the carbon footprint of power generation by 70%."
This is a big development for a region that has traditionally relied on oil as an export resource, as well as an energy source.