The world’s largest single-site solar power plant has been inaugurated in the UAE. The Al Dhafra solar photovoltaic (PV) project is located 35 km outside Abu Dhabi, and will produce 2 GW of electricity, which will power approximately 200,000 homes and mitigate over 2.3 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually.
Commissioned by Masdar with partners including Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA), EDF Renewables, JinkoPower, and Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC), Al Dhafra stretches over 20 square kilometers of desert and employs nearly 4 million bi-facial solar panels to optimize energy yield.
TAQA holds a 40% stake in the project, with the remaining partners each owning 20%. Under a power purchase agreement signed in 2020, Al Dhafra will contribute significantly to Abu Dhabi’s solar capacity, which is expected to reach 3.2 GW.
The UAE, which launched its first solar project in 2009, now ranks second globally in per capita solar energy consumption. The inauguration of Al Dhafra, as per Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, head of COP28, underscores the nation’s commitment to enhancing solar power efficiency, innovation, and affordability. This project sets a new low tariff record, demonstrating the economic viability of large-scale renewable initiatives.
At COP28, the UAE is positioned to advocate for a substantial increase in global renewable capacity and energy efficiency. Othman Al Ali, CEO of EWEC, highlighted Abu Dhabi’s role as a hub for some of the world’s largest solar plants and outlined ambitious plans to commission an additional 1 GW of solar power annually over the next decade. This aligns with the UAE’s broader strategy to expedite the decarbonization of energy production and solidify its leadership in the global solar power sector.