Masdar Special Projects: The Sheikh Zayed Solar Power Plant (Mauritania)

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The Sheikh Zayed Solar Power Plant is a 15-megawatt photovoltaic facility in Nouakchott, the capital of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. It was one of the largest solar power installations in Africa when completed and is the first such utility-scale installation in the country.

The facility accounts for 10 percent of Mauritania’s grid capacity. It produces 25,409 megawatt-hours of clean electricity annually and displaces about 21,225 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. Manufactured by Masdar PV, the plant’s nearly 30,000 solar panels supply electricity to more than 10,000 homes in Nouakchott.

The plant has produced more energy than estimated, accounting for the annual increase in demand and resulting in additional savings. Producing more than 44 gigawatt-hours since April 2013, the plant has reduced generator load during peak sun hours, resulting in reduced power-failure rates.

The power plant is one of several Masdar-funded international projects.

Quick Facts

  • Equipment: 29,826 micromorph thin-film solar panels
  • Installed capacity: 15 megawatts
  • Solar energy penetration: 10 percent into the grid
  • Diesel fuel savings: 7 million litres annually
  • Emission reductions: 21,225 tonnes annually
  • Homes powered: more than 10,000