Barakah Nuclear Plant’s Unit 2 successfully connects to UAE grid

By Arya M Nair, Intern Reporter
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The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has announced that Nawah Energy Company, operations and maintenance subsidiary of the start-up of Unit 2 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, has safely and successfully connected the unit to the UAE grid. 

The Barakah plant became the first multi-unit operating nuclear plant in the UAE and the Arab World after producing the first megawatts (MW) of carbon-free power from the second of four units. This highlights the UAE’s competence in meeting stringent national and international standards, as well as the Emirati-led teams’ leading skills, qualifications, and abilities in achieving this milestone at the plant.

The cumulative knowledge and expertise developed by the operations teams on Unit 1 has been used to connect Unit 2 more efficiently to the grid, resulting in a 10 percent reduction in the time between start-up and connection while also maintaining the highest standards of nuclear safety and operational excellence.

The Unit is preparing to provide an additional 1,400MW of clean electricity capacity to the UAE grid, with the first megawatts of emissions-free electricity to businesses, schools, and households. This achievement brings ENEC and its subsidiaries one step closer to achieving its objective of supplying up to a quarter of the country’s electricity needs 24/7 while reducing carbon emissions, the primary driver of climate change.

Prior to the start of commercial operations, the Unit 2 generator was integrated and synced with the requirements of the UAE’s national energy transmission grid during the connection. Once the integration and connection are completed, Unit 2’s nuclear operators will begin the process of gradually increasing the reactor’s power levels, known as Power Ascension Testing (PAT).

The Nawah teams at Barakah worked closely with Abu Dhabi Transmission and Dispatch Company (TRANSCO), a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA), to build the overhead lines that connect the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant to the Abu Dhabi grid, ensuring that the power generated at Barakah is delivered safely, securely, and reliably to consumers across the UAE.

ENEC is leading the largest decarbonization project in the region by supplying millions of businesses and households with sufficient, clean electricity from the Barakah Plant, which is now the largest single source of clean electricity in the UAE and GCC.

The Barakah Plant, located in the Al Dhafra Region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, is one of the largest nuclear energy plants in the world, with four APR-1400 units. The development of the Barakah Plant is now more than 96 percent complete. The plant, when fully operating, will generate 5.6 gigawatts of carbon-free electricity for more than 60 years.

Related: 2020 saw resilience in nuclear capacity despite COVID-19; Report

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