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A Solar Plant the Size of 300 Football Fields

Future360.tv travels to Abu Dhabi to visit the largest concentrating solar plant in the world, Shams 1. The 100 MW plant occupies a square mile of the desert, roughly the size of 300 football fields and will power for 20,000 homes.

The technology works by using 250,000 parabolic shaped mirrors to turn sunlight into energy. These collectors concentrate the sun’s heat onto a tube filled with hot oil — that heats water — to produce steam. A gas powered booster heater increases the steam’s temperature to over 500 degrees farenheit. The steam then drives a turbine to produce energy.

As water is a scarce commodity, Shams 1 opted to go for air cooling in the form of huge fans to regulate temperature, rather than water cooling employed at most CSP plants.

$600 million has been invested in the development of Shams 1. The plant will be operational in 2013, and will contribute to reaching Abu Dhabi’s goal of 7 percent renewable energy by 2020.

Read more: Green, Technology, Videos

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Sarah Backhouse, selected from Future360

Sarah Backhouse is Founder of Future360, a media company specializing in the production of premium video content around cleantech and innovation.An environmental journalist and TV host, Sarah has worked for some of the most prestigious networks worldwide including: Planet Green, BBC, PBS, CNBC, Fine Living and Discovery. For more information go to: future360.tv & sarahbackhouse.com.

55 comments

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6:33PM PST on Jan 25, 2014

Go wind and solar!

12:07AM PDT on Oct 8, 2013

awesome!

4:44AM PDT on Sep 12, 2013

big

11:35PM PDT on May 29, 2013

Thank you! The comments are interesting, but three football fields seems alot smaller than removing mountain tops and destroying the land and air with coal mining. It is also much safer than nuclear power plants which leave us with spent nuclear rods that remain radioactive for centuries or more. If we don't take action, we will be buying our solar power rather than selling it which would not be helpful.

4:55PM PDT on May 19, 2013

So happy to see this, the U.S. should take a hint.

4:27PM PDT on May 2, 2013

ty

2:49PM PDT on Mar 30, 2013

good start...keep spreading the sunlight electric

3:20AM PST on Mar 3, 2013

It doesn't sound very efficent to me.

8:07AM PST on Mar 2, 2013

thanks for sharing

4:48AM PST on Feb 28, 2013

TY

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