Sweihan PV Power has started commercial operations at the 1,177MW Noor Abu Dhabi photovoltaic power project in the UAE.

The project is claimed to be the world’s largest single solar project. Electricity generated by the facility will be sold to the Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC) under a 25-year power purchase agreement.

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Under a loan agreement signed in May 2017, the AED3.2bn ($871.2m) project was co-financed by eight commercial banks, including Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (renamed MUFG Bank), the Norinchukin Bank, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking.

Construction was completed within 23 months as originally planned.

Marubeni has a 20% stake, with JinkoSolar having 20% and AD Power owning 60% in Sweihan Photovoltaic Independent Power Project.

The facility is expected to reduce Abu Dhabi’s CO2 emissions by one million tonnes, which is equivalent to taking 200,000 cars off the roads.

The project will allow Abu Dhabi to increase its production of renewable energy and reduce its dependence on natural gas in electricity generation.

Sweihan plant comprises more than 3.2 million solar panels installed across an 8km² site, providing enough capacity to meet the demands of 90,000 people.

More than 2,900 people were employed on site at the peak of construction.

Noor Abu Dhabi has also set a record at the time of submission of bids, attracting the most competitive tariff of AED0.08.888/kWh.

EWEC CEO Othman Jumaa Al Ali said: “Noor Abu Dhabi will generate renewable energy and will enable us to improve the use of our natural resources.

“The fact that a project of such scale has been successfully completed on time and on budget highlights our commitment to ensuring sustainable energy for the future and it is a true testament of the Emirate’s delivery capabilities to execute world-class energy projects.

“Noor Abu Dhabi will further contribute to the UAE’s renewable sector, exponentially increasing the existing solar capacity of Abu Dhabi, as well as adding to the continuously growing solar capacity of the UAE.”

Sweihan PV Power is owned by Japanese conglomerate Marubeni, China’s JinkoSolar Holding, and Abu Dhabi Power.