I have been reading a lot lately about Masdar, the “Super City” in Abu Dhabi being built as sustainable. Recently in both Reuters and Inhabitat, I read about Masdar’s new construction venture – a 10 megawatt grid-connected solar array. 5 MW of the plant is going to be utilizing thin-film panels (which are being provided by Arizona’s First Solar), and the other half crystalline silicon photovoltaics. This is the largest grid-connected solar plant in the Middle East. The plant is actually expected to generate 17MW with its 87,777 panels of photovoltaics.
Abu Dhabi-based power company Environmena Power Systems has developed and designed the rig – I am assuming they’re installing as well – which will route any extra power to the Abu Dhabi power grid.
Have you ever heard of these thin-film PV panels? They operate on 1-2% of the semiconductor material of traditional PV technology, with more watts per kg of material used. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, CO has predicted that these modules will cost under a buck per watt in the near future.
The Masdar solar array is expected to reduce 15,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year. It’s going to cost around $50 million when everything’s said and done.
If you’re interested in reading more about the Cadmium Telluride technology used in First Solar’s thin-film PV’s, check out the product page on the technology.
I’ve added a video on thin film photovoltaics below: