UAE’s state-run renewable energy company Masdar, along with its partners the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA), EDF Renewables and JinkoPower, has launched the 2GW Al Dhafra Solar PV project in the UAE, ahead of the country hosting the UN climate change conference COP28.

Located 35km from Abu Dhabi city, this solar plant covers more than 20km² of desert land and features four million of JinkoPower’s bifacial solar panels to maximise the solar yield.

It will be the largest single-site solar plant in the world.

The clean electricity produced by the plant will power 200,000 homes while avoiding 2.4 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually.

During its construction phase, the project has created 4,500 jobs.

TAQA holds a 40% stake in the project, while Masdar, EDF Renewables and JinkoPower each hold a 20% stake.

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By GlobalData

The 2GW project has been built at the world’s lowest tariff – Dh4.97/kWh ($0.0135/kWh).

By the time the Al Dhafra project reached a financial close, the price had fallen to Dh4.85/kWh ($0.0132/kWh).

The power generated by the project will be procured by the Emirates Water and Electricity Company.

Abu Dhabi deputy ruler Sheikh Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan stated: “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.

“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. We are achieving energy security, while also contributing to building a bright future for future generations to come.”

TAQA group CEO and managing director Jasim Husain Thabet stated: “TAQA is very proud to have played a central role with our partners in delivering the world’s largest single-site solar PV plant, our second major solar plant in the UAE. With COP28 fast approaching, the 2GW Al Dhafra PV project shows the world what can be achieved through a commitment to partnership and technological progress.

“With a portfolio including two of the world’s largest solar projects and as a provider of grid connections, TAQA is at the heart of driving the transformation to a cleaner and more sustainable power sector. As a global integrated utility company championing low-carbon power and water, we are focused on working with partners to deliver affordable, secure and sustainable energy and water to communities across the UAE and beyond.”

The China Machinery Engineering Corporation was selected as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the project in January 2021.