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Masdar greenlights Abu Dhabi's 2nd solar project

Noor-1 will generate 100MW of power and could become an IPP

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The Shams-1 project is currently under construction.
The Shams-1 project is currently under construction.

Masdar is to go ahead with its second solar power project later this year, a top official said on Wednesday according to the Khaleej Times newspaper.

The project named Noor-1, is a 100MW power plant to be built in Abu Dhabi and could be offered as an Independent Power Project (IPP).

"We will soon invite the expression of interests for the project that will be launched on a build, own and operate basis," said Mohammed Al Zaabi, general manager of Shams Power Company, a subsidiary of Masdar, the paper quoted him as saying.

Al Zaabi said that a site had not yet been chosen for the project adding that a feasibility study was currently underway. Masdar owns 60% of the company, while French energy giant Total and Spanish solar energy giant Abengoa share the rest equally.

Once the feasibility is done, Masdar will go out to the market to invite bids for the engineering, procurement and construction of the project along with the operation, management and maintenance, he said. Abu Dhabi's second solar power plant will be run on Photovoltaic technology.

The project is part of Abu Dhabi’s 10-year plan to generate 7% or 1,500MW of its power generation needs from renewable energy.

Masdar’s first solar large-scale solar project called Shams-1 is “on budget and on schedule,” according to Al Zaabi. The US$600 million project in Madinat Zayed in the Western region of the emirate has attracted interest from about 10 international and national banks and financial institutions. Taking up a total area of 2.5 square kilometres, Shams-1 is said to be the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant.

The Shams Power Company general manager said that financing arrangements are at a crucial stage and expects that they will be finanlised within the next two months.

Speaking about the Sir Bani Yas Island onshore wind farm, a 20-30MW project, Al Zaabi said that bids invited for the technical studies are currently being evaluated and will be announced in a couple of months.

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