Abu Dhabi plans world's largest solar plant

Masdar, an Abu Dhabi-based company that specializes in renewable energy, is planning to build the largest concentrated-solar energy plant in the world, called Shams 1 after the Arabic word for the sun. It'll cover an area of over an entire square mile, making it absolutely massive. The problem? For all that space, it doesn't crank out that much energy.

Yet the 100 megawatts the plant produces is entirely renewable and clean, which more than makes up for the fact that it won't reach the 500 to 1,000 MW levels of a nuclear plant. Masdar hopes that Shams 1 will offset 170,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, which has the same effect as planting 1.5 million trees or taking 150,000 cars off the streets. It's all part of Abu Dhabi's goal to have 7% of the country's electricity supplied by renewable sources by 2020.

Shams 1 is different than your average solar plant as it gathers energy using mirrors rather than relying on only photovoltaic panels. Those mirrors use the sun to boil liquids to power a steam generator — Shams 1 uses oil and water for this.

Construction will begin later this year and is expected to take two years.

Via Popular Science