Gulf emirate is expanding use of solar and wind power in an effort to become a regional hub for renewable energy
Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co, known as Masdar, plans to complete construction
of its second 100- megawatt solar-power plant in the third quarter of 2013,
boosting output of green energy in the Arabian Gulf emirate.
The Abu Dhabi
government-owned renewable energy company issued a request for qualification
information from potential builders of the facility, according to a copy of the
47-page document obtained by Bloomberg. An official in Masdar’s procurement
office declined to speak about the tender, and media relations officials at the
company couldn’t immediately be reached by telephone for comment.
Abu Dhabi, the capital of
the UAE, holds almost all of the country’s oil reserves, and is expanding use
of solar and wind power in an effort to become a regional hub for renewable
energy. The emirate is building Masdar City, a business and residential complex
designed to emit minimal carbon emissions, and serves as headquarters for the
International Renewable Energy Agency.
Masdar plans to build the
100-megawatt photovoltaic Nour 1 plant in the city of Al Ain, on Abu Dhabi’s
border with Oman. Construction contracts for Nour 1 are to be awarded in
December, and the project could become part of a larger solar power complex in
Al Ain, according to the document.
Potential bidders must
submit their qualification information by March 17, the document said. The
company wants to award construction contracts for the project by the end of
this year, Frank Wouters, director of a Masdar unit called Masdar Power, said
at an industry briefing in Abu Dhabi on Jan 10.
Masdar is already
developing a $600m, 100-megawatt concentrated solar thermal plant called Shams
1, to be completed in 2012. Shams 1 is a venture between Masdar, Abengoa SA of
Spain and France’s Total SA.
The Nour 1 plant will cost
less than Shams 1 because of improving efficiency and “the normal learning
curve for the industry,” Wouters said at the briefing last month.
Photovoltaic plants use
solar panels, which convert sunlight into electricity. Masdar already operates
a 10-megawatt facility of this type.