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Being located in the Middle East, the UAE is blessed with more than sufficient sunlight throughout the year. Harvesting this sunshine with the installation of solar panels and the building of plants to create sustainable cities is now happening in the country. The proof lies in the solar plants that have been set up in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
The Shams 1 plant has been developed by Masdar and is located on the route to Liwa Oasis, around six kilometers from the town of Madinat Zayed. The location offers direct solar radiation, and efficient connectivity has been established with the existing power grid infrastructure. The capital's western region is made up of some really important areas such as Ruwais, Madinat Zayed, Gharbia and Dhafrah, to name a few, and the plant has awakened economic activity in this region. Shams 1 also has the honor of being the largest solar project in the world.
Around 15 buildings in Abu Dhabi have had rooftop solar panels installed on them. These generate clean energy, eliminating the carbon footprint left behind by electricity generated by fossil fuels. A few more companies that have been issued licenses include Al Ain Zoo and the German School. Many ADEC schools have also applied for licenses with procedural paperwork underway.
Dubai is not far behind in this regard. The DEWA 13 plant located in Seih Al Dahal, around 50 kilometers into interior Dubai, is all set to generate approximately 24 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year. It is currently the largest photovoltaic solar power facility in the region, the size of 33 football pitches. The plant forms the first phase of the Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. The second phase will have a capacity of 100 mega watts.
Meanwhile, the Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA) helps create awareness on topics related to solar technology. It hosts workshops for industry professionals, and publish periodicals and research reports to meet the needs of government entities and other businesses.
• Shams 1 plant is currently the largest solar project in the world
• Abu Dhabi has a number of buildings with rooftop solar panels
• DEWA 13 plant is the largest photovoltaic solar facility in region
Source: Urmila Santosh, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer