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One of the world's largest concentrated solar power plants is set for Abu Dhabi


Something major is about to arrive in Abu Dhabi, and it’s not the ladies from "Sex and the City 2."

A massive concentrating solar power plant – featuring 768 parabolic mirrors spread across 741 acres of desert in nearby Madinat Zayed – is set to start construction this year.

Called the Shams – which means “sun” in Arabic – the 100-megawatt project will be 40% owned by Spain’s Abengoa Solar and French oil giant Total SA. Masdar, the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co., will own the rest.

Once the installation starts operations in 2012, it will produce enough energy for 62,000 households, the companies said. The power will be sold to the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Co. under a long-term contract.

-- Tiffany Hsu

Photo: Representatives from the Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority, Abengoa, Masdar and Total at a press conference revealing the project.

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I disagree with save the deserts' comments. We should see one of these projects announced daily with the Gulf Oil Spill a daily reminder of how bad we mess up the environment with carbon based energy.

I agree with save the deserts' comment on roof top solar panels/collectors, however. We should impliment multiple alternative energy sources. Wind and solar should lead the pack. Small and large wind projects, various solar collection processes, tide, wave, geothermal, and conservation should lead the group.

These things are a TOTAL WASTE OF MONEY AND ECOSYSTEM. Their capacity factor is no higher than PV, despite their claims, and if they can truly power 62,000 homes with 100 mW rated capacity, that means that each of those homes could be fully powered for the next 30 years with only a 1.6 kW rooftop solar system, which currently retails for about US$12,000 if there are no subsidies, rebates, bulk purchases or tax credits (it would be about half that in most of the US)...

So, do you think these people would rather produce their own power for far less money, or pay a huge premium so they can remain enslaved to Big Energy?

I know what we want here, and it's our PACE loans (AB811) and expanded net metering, the same cash grant systems Big Solar gets (we only get a 30% federal tax credit, but Big Solar gets a 30% cash grant!), and the same type of PPAs - as in feed in tariffs for the power we feed into the grid and do not use onsite.

Currently, there are 53 "fast track" Big Energy projects in the running for this massive 30% cash grant from us, the CA taxpayers. Every single project will cost over $1 Billion, which means TAXPAYERS WILL PAY BIG ENERGY OVER $20 BILLION IN CASH to set up their for-profit infrastructure, much of it on virtually free public land. They also do not have to pay several million dollars in permitting fees to our state, which is cutting services to the BLIND.

If we used that $20 Billion of OUR money on ourselves, 1.3 million homes could have full-fledged (3.5 kW) rooftop solar systems for FREE. 1.3 million, just for the "incentive" part of the expense of these wasteful boondoggles!!

If we use these fake numbers Big Solar is using, we could have over 2.5 million California houses fully powered with their own rooftop systems JUST for the amount of FREE MONEY we are giving to Chevron Solar, BP Wind, PG & E (who just wasted $50 million on Prop 16), Shell Solar, LADWP, etc.

If we added up all the TOTAL money being spent (say 75 billion), 10 million CA households could be fully solar - that's almost ALL OF THEM.



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