Masdar secures US$600mn

Published: March 28, 2011

Abu Dhabi solar power project secures funding.

Masdar, an Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy company, has raised US$600mn to build one of the world’s largest concentrated solar power (CSP) projects.

Shams 1 is a Masdar-led joint venture with power company Total and energy-focused technology specialist Abengoa. The project will have an estimated 110MW capacity when construction is completed in 2012.

The funding, which was oversubscribed with commitments of more than US$900mn, was provided by 10 banks, including BNP Paribas, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Natixis, Société Générale and WestLB.

Shams 1 will contribute towards Abu Dhabi’s target of renewable energy accounting for at least 7% of its power generation capacity by 2020.

Masdar’s chief executive, Dr Sultan Al-Jaber, said Shams 1 is a milestone project for the region. “As the first utility scale, commercial solar power project in the Middle East, Shams 1 represents the realisation of the vision that the Abu Dhabi leadership has for renewable energy in the Emirate.”

The project is being built on a 2.5 sq km site at Madinat Zayed, located 120km southwest of the city of Abu Dhabi. Its CSP technology generates solar thermal electricity by using mirrors to focus sunlight to heat a coolant which generates steam to drive a turbine producing clean energy.