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Masdar Breaks Ground on Largest Solar Plant in Middle East

Posted By Bridgette Meinhold On January 21, 2009 @ 11:00 am In Architecture,Environment,Green Building,Renewable Energy,Solar Power | 1 Comment

masdar solar plant, norman foster and partners, green design, sustainable architecture, renewable energy, first solar, abu dhabi solar plant, thin film photovoltaic array [1]

Masdar [2], the new sustainable super-city being developed by Abu Dhabi, recently announced that it is building the largest grid-connected solar plant [3] in the Middle East. The 10 MW solar plant will be half thin-film and half crystalline silicon photovoltaics, with 5 MW of thin film [4] solar panels being provided by Arizona-based First Solar [5]. The Masdar solar power plant is expected to reduce emissions of 15,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually and cost around $50 million.

masdar solar plant, norman foster and partners, green design, sustainable architecture, renewable energy, first solar, abu dhabi solar plant, thin film photovoltaic array

Designed by Foster + Partners [6], Masdar is poised to be the world’s most sustainable city [7]. Their masterplan envisions a dvelopment that is zero-waste, car-free, and carbon neutral. Solar power will be an essential resource for the city, as the sun will also power their Rapid Transit System [8].

Abu Dhabi-based Environma Power Systems [9] Designed and developed the new power plant, which will support ongoing construction activities in Masdar and later will provide energy for the Masdar Institute [10], which opens in late 2009. Any excess power from the plant will be fed into the Abu Dhabi electric grid.

First Solar [5]‘s thin film photovoltaics utilize Cadmium Telluride as a semiconductor, which enables them to use only 1-2% of the semiconductor material required for traditional photovoltaic panels. Manufacturing a thin film panel takes around 2.5 hours [11] from start to finish using First Solar’s process. The efficiency of these panels is estimated to be around 9% [12], and costs are expected to be below $1 per peak Watt [13] per module. Currently, commercial efficiencies for traditional photovoltaics are above 20%, but costs rise above $1.5 per peak Watt [14].

Construction for the new power plant has already begun and it is expected to start generating energy by the second quarter of 2009.

+ First Solar [5]

+ Environma Power Systems [9]

Via Reuters [15]

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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/masdar-begins-construction-on-10mw-solar-power-plant/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/01/21/masdar-begins-construction-on-10mw-solar-power-plant/

[2] Masdar: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/02/06/plans-unveiled-for-worlds-first-zero-carbon-zero-waste-city-masdar-city/

[3] solar plant: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/01/06/china-announces-worlds-largest-solar-plant/

[4] thin film: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/12/24/inhabitat-gingerbread-alpine-cabin-bridgette/

[5] First Solar: http://www.firstsolar.com

[6] Foster + Partners: http://www.fosterandpartners.com/Projects/1515/Default.aspx

[7] sustainable city: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/01/19/new-heden-by-kjellgren-kaminsky-architects/

[8] Rapid Transit System: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/05/27/masdar-personal-rapid-transit-system/

[9] Environma Power Systems: http://www.enviromena.com/newsDetails.aspx?pageid=234&parentID=161

[10] Masdar Institute: http://www.masdar.ac.ae/

[11] 2.5 hours: http://www.firstsolar.com/product_overview.php

[12] 9%: http://www.nrel.gov/pv/thin_film/pn_techbased_cadmium_telluride.html

[13] $1 per peak Watt: http://www.firstsolar.com/technology.php

[14] $1.5 per peak Watt: http://www.nrel.gov/pv/pv_manufacturing/cost_capacity.html

[15] Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUSTRE50E41T20090115?feedType=RSS&feedName=environmentNews

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