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.


Warren Webber
Warren Webber4 years ago

Live long and prosper

Monica D.
Monica D5 years ago

Go wind and solar!

Ganaisha Calvin
Ganaisha Calvin5 years ago


Jonathan Harper
Jonathan Harper5 years ago


Bryna Pizzo
Bryna Pizzo5 years ago

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.

Ryan Yehling
Ryan Yehling5 years ago

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

Lynn C.
Past Member 5 years ago


Dave C.
David C5 years ago

good start...keep spreading the sunlight electric

Spirit Spider
Spirit Spider6 years ago

It doesn't sound very efficent to me.

Carrie Anne Brown

thanks for sharing