Abu Dhabi, 14 September 2019: His Excellency Joao Galamba, Portugal's Secretary of State for Energy, visited Noor Abu Dhabi this week, during a tour hosted by a delegation from the Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC), led by Othman Al Ali, EWEC's Chief Executive Officer, and other senior management. The Minister received an update on the plant, one of the world's single largest solar projects, as well as a briefing on the upcoming construction of a 2,000 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power project to be located in the Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi emirate.
The Noor Abu Dhabi plant will offset the emirate's CO2 emissions by 1 million metric tons, equivalent to removing 200,000 cars from the emirate's roads. With 3.2 million solar panels installed across an 8 square kilometre site, Noor Abu Dhabi provides approximately enough power to meet the demands of 90,000 residents.
During a walking tour, H.E. Joao Galamba witnessed the progress made and milestones achieved since the completion of the Noor Abu Dhabi Plant and the start of its commercial operations in June, which collectively mark a significant accomplishment for EWEC.
Officially formed in 2018, EWEC succeeds the former Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Company. It operates within the portfolio of the Abu Dhabi Power Corporation and plays vital planning and commercial roles to ensure electricity and water is supplied in the emirate of Abu Dhabi as well as parts of the Northern Emirates.
During his visit to Noor Abu Dhabi, H.E. Joao Galamba hailed both the organisation and the country's wider efforts to support energy sustainability, saying: “I am incredibly impressed to see the Noor Abu Dhabi Solar Plant first-hand and the manner in which EWEC continues to deliver sustainable electricity to the highest international standards of safety, quality and performance. This approach could ensure the long-term sustainability of the UAE's energy supply.”
Othman Al Ali, EWEC CEO, said: “Over 3,000 workers were involved at Noor Abu Dhabi to help us in our mission to provide clean, reliable and efficient solar energy to the UAE's electricity grid. As our program continues to advance, particularly with construction underway at our Al Dhafra project, this is a role we take on with great pride and responsibility, and as always, energy security remains our overriding priority.”
H.E. Joao Galamba's visit to Noor Abu Dhabi this week took place against the backdrop of the 24th World Energy Congress (WEC), of which EWEC was a Host Sponsor and key exhibitor at. As a host sponsor, EWEC showcased its contribution to energy production, including its extensive investment in alternative sources of energy, in WEC's main exhibition space in ADNEC.
The new Al Dhafra project forms a part of EWEC's long-term strategy, which has been approved by the higher committee for the water and electricity sector in Abu Dhabi. Once completed, the project site will cover an area of approximately 20 square kilometres, almost doubling the capacity of Noor Abu Dhabi's single-site solar PV plant.
Al Dhafra is expected to achieve commercial operations during the first quarter of 2022, upon which it would take Abu Dhabi's solar capacity to 3,200 MW.