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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

THE WORLD'S LARGEST SOLAR POWER PLANT TO BE IN DUBAI

A few months ago when I was in Dubai I indicated that it:
  • Already had the tallest building in the world (Burj Khalifa--830 meters or 2722 feet), and is constructing a taller one (right) as a gift to the city to open for their 2020 World Expo (Dubai hosts).  Height?  To be after announced after completion.
    • Changsha in China three years ago broke ground for a building ten meters taller than the Burj Khalifa, but bureaucracy got in the way, and the project appears to have been stopped.
    • Saudi Arabia will have a 1001 (3284 feet) meter high tower by 2020 in Jeddah, called, appropriately enough, Jeddah Tower.

    • Ah, but Dubai is planning for Dubai City Tower in 2025, also known as Dubai Vertical City, to be 2400 meters or 7900 feet tall.  
    • A mile is 5280 feet and the top of the spire of the Empire State Building in New York City is all of 443 meters or 1454 feet high.
  • Already had the largest shopping center in the world and is building a bigger one.  Dubai Mall, with 1200 stores, gets 75 million visitors--more that the Eiffel Tower, Niagara Falls and Disney World, combined.  The next one will be called Mall of the World:
  • Already is the busiest airport in the world (Heathrow is #2) with 70 million passengers, and will add concourse D this year to handle a total of 90 million passengers, then expand to 100 million by 2020.
Well, solar energy fans, Dubai will soon have the largest solar power plant in the world at 800 MW:


This facility will produce electricity at the lowest rate in the world:  3 cents/kWh.

Anyway, that was the announcement.  The reality is that the first module will only be a 200 MW. concentrated solar system, for an ultimate 3000 MW solar park.  The winning bid by Masdar (owned by the Abu Dhabi government) and a Spanish company FRV, which is now owned by Saudi Arabia.  You will note a general absence of Western countries in these competitions.  UAE / Saudi Arabia beat the Chinese bid (JinkoSolar) by 19%, but only because the government will be financing the system.

China has the biggest solar PV park at 850 MW, while the U.S.'s Ivanpah Solar (thermal) Power Facility is rated at 392 MW, and Morocco just turned on the first phase of its concentrated solar power plant, 160 MW towards 580 MW.  These solar maps show the highest solar potential sites are Africa and the Middle East.  They are finally beginning to wake up.

I will tomorrow report on my fantastical life, and on Friday continue my series on Humanity's Greatest Challenges by focusing on outer space.

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