His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Abu Dhabi officially inaugurated Shams 1, the largest concentrated solar power plant (CSP) in operation in the world.
Located in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi, the 100-megawatt, grid connected power plant will generate clean energy to power 20,000 homes in the UAE.
His Highness President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan expressed his pride in the inauguration of Shams 1, calling it a major achievement in the UAE's goal of energy and economic diversification.
"Expanding our leadership into renewable sources of power demonstrates the United Arab Emirates' commitment to maintaining its position as a major provider of energy," said His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. "The inauguration of Shams 1 is a major milestone in our country's economic diversification and a step toward long-term energy security.
"We are proud of the young Emiratis that worked on this project," said His Highness. "The expertise they gained, working closely with international companies and building a project of such scale, is the type of human capital development that will enable our country to secure long-term energy leadership.
"Shams 1 is a strategic investment in our country's economic, social and environmental prosperity," added His Highness. "The domestic production of renewable energy extends the life of our country's valuable hydrocarbon resources and supports the growth of a promising new industry."
The ceremony was also attended by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashed Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, as well as other members of the UAE leadership.
Holding nearly half of the world's renewable energy potential, the Middle East and North Africa is poised for unprecedented growth in renewable energy.
Emirates News Agency, WAM