Square Mile of Sun Power

Thursday 21st March 2013


It isn’t surprising to see the world’s largest concentrated solar power (CSP) complex has been built in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is hot and sunny there, allowing plenty of sunshine to be harvested and transformed into energy. The complex, Shams 1, will produce 100 MW, enough to supply 20,000 UAE homes.

Shams, which means ‘sun’ in Arabic, started to be built during the second half of 2012 and covers 1 square mile with 250,000 mirrors on 768 parabolic trough collectors.

The sunlight is focused by the mirrors onto pipes filled with oil, this heats up water to produce steam, which then drives a turbine. Shams 1 has cost about $595 million, with claims that it will reduce the CO2 emissions in the UAE by about 193,000 tons annually, equivalent to taking 15,000 cars off the road.

Shams 1 is unlikely to hold the title of the largest CSP complex for long as the technology is being developed globally with nine 100 MW or higher plants currently under construction in India, U.S. and Morocco, and plenty of others planned globally.

Picture of Shams 1 from Inhabitat reproduced under CCL

Categories: General, Renewable, Reviews, Technology

Thursday 21st March 2013

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