Masdar Intiative (Masdar) said that the construction of 10 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in the Middle East and North Africa region is in progress. The plant, consisting of 50% thin film and 50% crystalline, is projected to generate 17,500 MWh of clean energy each year with 15,000 tons of annual CO2 savings. Following the complete installation of all 87,777 thin film and photo crystalline silicon panels, the plant will be grid connected. The construction cost is estimated to be $150 million.

The solar power plant will initially generate clean electricity to support the ongoing construction activities of Masdar city. Later it will be the power provider for the Masdar Institute, which opens in late 2009. The PV plant will also supply smart clean energy to the Masdar Site Administration Facilities. Excess energy generated will be supplied to the Abu Dhabi grid providing Abu Dhabi consumers with their first experience of alternative energy.

A single kWh of green energy is the carbon-offset equivalent of 0.8 kg depending on an area’s network and its energy-producing source.

The plant was designed and installed by Abu Dhabi based solar power system integrator Enviromena Power Systems.

“This 10 MW plant signals a bold step forward in the drive to increase the adoption of alternative energy in the region. It provides the foundation on which the construction of Masdar City will be built, and demonstrates the viability and attractiveness for further PV plants to be built within the region,” said Sultan Al Jaber, chief executive officer (CEO) of Masdar. “More importantly, our drive towards encouraging local companies to form global partnerships and initiate knowledge transfer is an integral component to delivering on the Abu Dhabi Plan 2030 set by our leadership.”

With a construction cost of AED185 million ($50 million) and an installed power capacity of 10 MWp, the plant will be considered one the most cost-efficient PV installation in the world in terms of its projected power output.

Enviromena CEO & president, Sami Khoreibi said “When designing this plant for Masdar, we focused on using world-class components, whilst using locally based contractors. In alignment with Masdar’s goals, this cost efficient system will further promote the implementation of solar technology both in the region and beyond. As a locally based company, we appreciate the opportunity awarded us by Masdar and their confidence in our abilities.”