Masdar-developed landmark wind energy program inaugurated

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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UAE Wind Program by Masdar

HH Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, has inaugurated the UAE Wind Program, under the directives of the UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

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 tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to 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, and witnessed the signing of a landmark Power Purchase Agreement between Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC) 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 (EPC) contractor for the program and GoldWind Group was the main supplier of equipment.

Dr. Sultan Al Jaber_UAE Wind Program
H.E. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber,
UAE Minister of Industry & Advanced Technology,
COP28 President-Designate,
Chairman – Masdar

“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, the inauguration shows the UAE’s firm commitment to this target, boosting clean energy investments both at home and abroad,” HE Al Jaber added.

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.

Mr. Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Masdar’s Chief Executive Officer, said that “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.”

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