- Through the support and vision of its leadership, UAE demonstrates latest technology and innovation to capture low wind speeds at utility scale
- Inauguration of the UAE’s first wind farms across four locations, with total combined capacity of over 100 megawatts, powering over 23,000 homes and displacing 120,000 tonnes of CO2 per year
- Development marks debut of large scale, utility wind power on the UAE’s electricity grid, diversifying the country’s energy mix and advancing its energy transition – unlocking the new potential of wind
- By working with global technology leaders and turbine manufacturers, the UAE is paving the way for commercialization of further utility scale, low-wind speed projects
ABU DHABI, UAE, Oct. 5, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Under the directives of the UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, HH Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, inaugurated the UAE Wind Program.
The 103.5 megawatt (MW) landmark project developed by Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company PJSC – Masdar, demonstrates for the first time the latest technology and innovation to capture low wind speeds at utility scale, adopting advances in material science and aerodynamics to make wind power possible in the country. The project marks the debut of cost-effective, large scale, utility wind power on the UAE’s electricity grid, diversifying the country’s energy mix and advancing its energy transition.
The UAE Wind Program is expected to power over 23,000 UAE homes a year. It will displace 120,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, equivalent of removing over 26,000 cars from the road annually. The development underscores the UAE’s commitment to tackling climate change as it looks forward to hosting an inclusive COP that focuses on delivering results.
The project spans four locations including the picturesque Sir Bani Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, which is home to free-roaming wildlife. A 45 MW capacity wind farm plus 14 MWp (megawatt peak) solar farm has been developed on the island. The other wind farm locations include the historical pearl-diving center, Delma Island (27MW) in Abu Dhabi, Al Sila, Abu Dhabi (27MW) and Al Halah, Fujairah (4.5MW).
HH Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan attended the inauguration ceremony held on Sir Bani Yas Island, where he witnessed the signing of a landmark Power Purchase Agreement between EWEC (Emirates Water and Electricity Company) and Masdar for the wind power generation from the Sir Bani Yas Island, Al Sila, and Delma Island projects. With the addition of wind power, EWEC’s portfolio now encompasses multiple sources of strategic green energy, solidifying the UAE’s energy transition leadership.
The event was also attended by H.E. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Chairman of Masdar and COP28 President-Designate; H.E. Eng. Awaidha Al Marar, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy; Mr Chen Guanfu, President of PowerChina International; and Mr Wu Kai, Chairman of Goldwind Group. PowerChina was the main Engineering, Procurement and Construction contractor for the program and GoldWind Group was the main supplier of equipment.
H.E. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, COP28 President-Designate and Chairman of Masdar, said, “The UAE Wind Program is a great source of national pride and a demonstration of Masdar’s ability to pioneer and implement innovations in wind and renewable energy technologies. More than twenty years ago, before Masdar was created however, His Highness Sheikh Zayed, our founding father, someone who cared deeply about the environment, oversaw the completion of a wind turbine on Sir Bani Yas Island. As the UAE’s clean energy powerhouse, Masdar continues this legacy by supporting the nation’s vision as a global leader in sustainability and climate action as it unlocks the new potential of wind power. For a viable energy transition, the world must triple renewable energy capacity by 2030 to meet the Paris Agreement goals. As we look forward to hosting COP28, today’s inauguration shows the UAE’s firm commitment to this target, boosting clean energy investments both at home and abroad.”
The project marks the first time that the UAE has added utility-scale wind power to its energy mix. Energy generated by landmark solar, nuclear and waste-to-energy plants already feeds into the UAE’s national grid and earlier this month the country was recognized as a world leader in solar energy use, according to the latest data from The Energy Institute Statistical Review of World Energy.
Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Masdar’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “As the UAE’s flagship renewable energy company, this is an incredibly proud moment for Masdar. Today’s launch of the UAE’s first utility-scale wind program is the result of years of hard work and collaboration. It would not have been possible without the vision and the unstinting support of the UAE’s leadership, we were able to pioneer cutting-edge technology to overcome the UAE’s low wind speeds and harness the power of this formidable natural resource. As we accelerate our path to Net Zero by 2050, the UAE wind program shows that anything is possible when you have vision, passion and a pioneering spirit.”
Previously wind energy was not viable due to low wind speeds in the UAE, but innovations within climate technology and UAE-led expertise made wind power possible. Bigger turbine sizes, lower hardware prices and the discovery of a unique weather phenomenon that generated high winds at night made this project scalable and economically viable. As wind power is strongest at night in the UAE this complements the country’s existing solar power generation, further diversifying the nations renewable energy mix.
By working with global technology leaders and turbine manufacturers, this project is paving the way for the commercialization of further utility scale, low-wind speed projects. The project is creating a foundation of critical scientific wind data, which will form the basis of the UAE’s next phase of development.
Led by its founding CEO and now COP28 President-Designate, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Masdar has been pioneering clean energy since 2006. A decade ago, the company launched the 100 MW Shams project, which was the first concentrated solar power plant to be developed in the Middle East. In Indonesia, Masdar is at the final stages of developing the Cirata Floating Solar Plant, Southeast Asia’s largest floating solar plant. While earlier this year, the Sharjah Waste to Energy plant in the UAE recorded that it had processed over 100,000 tonnes of waste and offset over 150,000 tonnes of carbon emissions since it began operations a year ago. The region’s first waste-to-energy plant is a joint venture between Masdar and BEEAH group, the Middle East’s sustainability pioneer.
Masdar is active in more than 40 countries and has invested in a portfolio of renewable energy projects with a combined capacity of more than 20 GW. Masdar is committed to achieving at least 100 GW total renewable energy capacity by 2030.
This material is distributed by Daniel J. Edelman, Inc. on behalf of Masdar. Additional information is available at the Department of Justice, Washington, DC.
Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) is the UAE’s clean energy champion and one of the largest companies of its kind in the world, advancing the development and deployment of renewable energy and green hydrogen technologies to address global sustainability challenges. Established in 2006, Masdar is today active in over 40 countries, helping them to achieve their clean energy objectives and advance sustainable development. Masdar is jointly owned by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), Mubadala Investment Company (Mubadala), and Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA), and under this ownership the company is targeting a renewable energy portfolio capacity of at least 100 gigawatts (GW) by 2030 and an annual green hydrogen production capacity of up to 1 million tonnes by the same year.
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