Noor Abu Dhabi Solar Power Project, previously known as Sweihan photovoltaic independent power project (IPP), is a 1,177MW solar power plant located in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Developed at a cost of AED3.2bn (£695m), it is the world’s biggest single-site solar power plant.
Sweihan PV Power Company, a special purpose company, developed the project on a build-own-and-operate (BOO) basis. Abu Dhabi Power Corporation (AD Power) holds 60% stake in Sweihan PV Power, while Marubeni and JinkoSolar hold 20% each.
The construction of the IPP project commenced in May 2017 and commercial operations began in April 2019.
The plant is expected to generate sufficient electricity to power approximately 195,000 homes and offset seven million tonnes a year of carbon emissions.
Noor Abu Dhabi solar power project location and background
The Noor Abu Dhabi solar power project is developed on a 780ha land in the eastern region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The site is located approximately 120km to the east of Abu Dhabi.
The project is a part of the UAE’s Energy Strategy 2050, which was launched in 2017 to increase the contribution of clean energy in the total energy generated in the country. UAE proposes to increase the clean energy share from 25% to 50% by 2050 in addition to minimising carbon footprint by 70%.
The Noor Abu Dhabi solar power project is installed with highly efficient monocrystalline photovoltaic (PV) modules supplied by JinkoSolar. The modules are placed on a fixed-tilt supporting structure, designed using an inventive module layout.
The plant features 201 power stations equipped with two 1,000 volts (V) DC INGECON SUN PowerMax Series B central inverters. The inverters have a rated capacity of 2.33MW each.
The SUN PowerMax central inverters can operate at temperatures between -20°C and +60°C and a relative humidity from 0% to 100%. The airflow range of the inverters is 0 to 7,800 cubic metres per hour (m3/h) and the average power consumption is 2,000 watts (W) per day.
The entire power generated by the Noor Abu Dhabi solar power plant will be sold to Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC), under a 25-year power purchase agreement.
The project secured limited-recourse financing of $870m in May 2017. Commercial banks including Credit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank, BNP Paribas, Natixis, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking, the Norinchukin Bank, and SMBC provided the financing.
Contractors and suppliers involved
Sterling and Wilson conducted the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) works for the project, under a contract awarded in June 2017. The company is also responsible for the plant’s operation and maintenance, on a turnkey basis, as part the agreement.
JinkoSolar supplied the monocrystalline photovoltaic modules for the Noor Abu Dhabi solar power project, while Ingeteam Power Technology supplied the inverters.