While Abu Dhabi sits on proven oil reserves amounting to 98.2 billion barrels, its rich oil reserves aren’t stopping it from investing in renewable energy, which is the need of the future. Enhancing its green portfolio, Abu Dhabi officially opened the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant, Shams 1, which will be producing about 100MW of clean power, enough to provide electricity to 20,000 homes.
The facility uses a system of mirrors or lenses spread over an area equivalent to 285 football pitches in the desert of the Western Region, about 120km southwest of Abu Dhabi. The facility allows Masdar to produce 10 percent of the world’s concentrated solar power. The facility includes 192 rows of lenses to collect and concentrate solar heat that then drives turbines to generate power, which will help save about 175,000 tons of CO2 emissions each year.
Since in a desert location, the main problem is of sand which can accumulate on the solar collectors and reduce the power plants efficiency, the high tech facility makes use of automatic trucks to dust the mirrors and make sure that the power plant’s efficiency doesn’t decline to the dust buildup.