Dubai Builds World’s Largest Concentrated Solar Plant

Dubai, the flashy city in the United Arab Emirates, is one of the world’s fastest growing economies, and a place that is known for going over the top (gigantic man-made decorative islands, for example). Now the city’s water and electric authority has announced its next big project will be building the world’s largest concentrated solar power (CSP) plant.

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park will generate 1,000 megawatts by 2020, and as much as 5,000 megawatts by the time the project is complete in 2030. For context, the current largest CSP, Ivanpah in California, generates 392 megawatts. Just like Ivanpah, Dubai’s facility will use a large array of mirrors called heliostats to concentrate sunlight onto a heat-transfer fluid. Thousands of heliostats will be positioned in circles around a tower. The hot fluid will power a steam turbine to generate electricity. This setup is expected to deliver power at less than 8 cents per kilowatt-hour (the average price for electricity in the U.S. is about 12 cents per kilowatt-hour). Let’s just hope all of the mirrors are properly aligned so that nothing catches on fire.

In addition to reducing the financial cost of electricity, the new CSP is expected to reduce 6.5 million tons of carbon emissions per year. This will help support Dubai’s “Clean Energy Strategy 2050,” which is a plan to gradually transition to 75 percent clean energy by 2050.

Source: Gizmodo

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