Shams Power Company PJSC is the largest concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in the Middle East to be built in Madinat Zayed, southwest of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Shams is owned and operated by a consortium including Masdar, an Abu Dhabi renewable energy company, Abengoa Solar, a technology company, and Total, one of the world’s major oil and gas groups, and will be operational in the 4th quarter of 2012.
This includes a strategic commitment to pursue development that is as sustainable as possible. One aspect of this is support for the development of utility-scale renewable energy power plants to help meet the Emirate’s growing energy requirements. The first of these is the 100 MW Shams 1 concentrated solar power plant.
What we do
The Shams 1 project involves the design, construction, operation and maintenance of a CSP plant located in Abu Dhabi on a build, own, operate basis. The plant has a total installed net rated power output of 100 MW and will implement a proven parabolic trough technology that has been operating successfully for more than 20 years at the SEGS plants in the Mojave Desert in California.
The plant, which is the first utility-scale renewable energy power facility in Abu Dhabi, is being developed by Shams Power Company PJSC, a special purpose vehicle owned 60% by Masdar and 40% by the Total Abengoa Solar Emirates Investment Company, a vehicle jointly owned by Total (50%) and Abengoa (50%).
Where we operate
Shams 1 is located in the Western Region of the Abu Dhabi Emirate at the northern latitude of 23°34' and the eastern longitude of 53°42', approximately 120 km southwest of Abu Dhabi and 6 km from the town of Madinat Zayed on the road from Tarif to the Liwa Oasis. This location was selected because it offers sufficient space for the plant, a high level of direct solar irradiation, and easy connection to the existing power and gas grid infrastructure. Its location also contributes to the Emirate’s economic development goals by spurring economic activity in the Western Region.
Before work began on the project, an environmental impact assessment of the project site and plant operations was undertaken. The assessment determined that the project would have no significant environmental impacts, provided adequate controls and monitoring procedures were implemented. The areas particularly scrutinized from the operational phase were pollutant emissions from the heaters, accidental oil leaks from the heat transfer fluid piping and wastewater produced by the plant. From the construction phase focus areas were air emissions (dust and combustion gases), land take, soil erosion, accidental discharge/ spills of chemicals and waste materials, and the operation of heavy machinery.
None of these potential impacts is expected to be significant given the effective mitigation steps in place and the robust ecological systems at the site or at nearby receptors. These impacts are being controlled and minimized through proper operational controls, procedures, method statements and training.