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Shams Solar Power Station – All about World’s Largest Parabolic Trough Power Station


Shams Solar Power Station – All about World’s Largest Parabolic Trough Power Station

Have you heard about Shams solar power station? Shams meaning “Sun” in Arabic. This is a world famous company and one of the largest CSP Plants in the world. This first of  its kind in the middle east. It is a 100 MW concentrated solar plant located in the western region of the Abu Dhabi Emirate.

Shams solar power station (1)

Shams 1

Shams 1 is developed, owned and operated by shams power company PJSC.  It is situated near Madinat Zayed,Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates. Shams solar power station located approximately 120 kilometres (75 mi) southwest of Abu Dhabi.

This concentrating solar power station using the harshness and power of sun. The company became operational on 17 March 2013. Shams 1 is the first part, uses parabolic trough technology. It features capacity of 100 megawatts(MW) and this is followed by Shams 2 and Shams 3 stations. 

Shams solar power station (4)

Technical specifications

  • Solar Resource: 1,934 kWh/m2/yr.000 Megawatt-hour
  • Solar-Field Aperture Area:627,840 m²
  • Number of Solar Collector Assemblies (SCAs): 768
  • Number of Loops: 192
  • Number of SCAs per Loop: 4
  • SCA Length: 150 m
  • SCA Manufacturer (Model): Abengoa Solar (ASTRO)
  • Mirror Manufacturer (Model): Flabeg (RP3)
  • Number of Heat Collector Elements (HCEs): 27,648
  • HCE Manufacturer (Model): Schott (PTR 70)
  • Heat-Transfer Fluid Type: Therminol VP-1
  • HTF Company: Solutia
  • Solar-Field Inlet Temp: 300°
  • Solar-Field Outlet Temp: 400°
  • Turbine Manufacturer: MAN
  • Output Type: Steam Rankine
  • Cooling Method: Dry cooling
  • Fossil Backup Type: Natural Gas Boiler

Ownership and Cost

Shams solar power station is developed by the Shams Power Company, a special purpose vehicle of Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) in cooperation with Spain’s Abengoa Solar and France’s Total S.A. In Shams solar power station Masdar has 60% in the project while Abengoa Solar and Total S.A. each have 20%. Total cost of Shams 1 is about US$600 million. 

Shams solar power station features a Parabolic trough solar thermal collectors concentrate heat from sunlight. This Plant is expected to displace 175,000 tons of CO2 every year, equivalent to planting 1.5 million trees or taking approximately 15,000 cars off the road.

Shams solar power station (3)

Top-line Numbers

  • Nameplate power: 100 MW 
  • Mirrors: 258,048
  • Solar collector assembly loops: 192
  • Solar collector assemblies per loop: 4
  • Solar collector assembly units: 768
  • Total area of plant site: approx. 2.5 km2
  • Solar field aperture area: 627,840 m2
  • Absorber pipes: 27,648

Technology Used in Shams

Shams using CSP (concentrated solar power technology). This is one of the two major colar power technologies. The other one is Photovoltaic (PV). CSP encompasses several distinct design technologies that all use thermal heat to produce electricity. The two most common CSP configurations are parabolic trough and solar tower. A third, less common configuration is the parabolic dish. Photovoltaic or PV by contrast, generates electricity directly from the sun’s light. 

shams working

Shams Achievements

  • The world’s largest financing transaction for a solar power project (US$600 million).
  • Project Finance magazine awarded it “Middle East Renewable Energy Deal of the Year 2010”.
  • The third CDM project in the UAE and the second for Masdar.
  • CDM project validation and approval was achieved in 14 months, well within the current benchmark of 12-15 months, even with a revision to the existing CDM methodology.
  • Registered on September 8, 2009 at the United Nations as a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project eligible for carbon credits.
  • The first CSP plant to be registered under CDM
  • 11,000,000 man-hours without major incident.
  • Shams 1 the largest solar project in the world.


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