Qatar to build two more 880MW solar power plants

Qatar will have two more solar power plants with combined capacity of 880 megawatts (MW) within the next two years, said an official. This is part of the country's plan to transition to clean energy. 

“Al Kharsaah Solar PV Power Plant (KSPP) is a qualitative leap in diversifying sources of producing electricity in the country,” said Mohamad Al Harami from KSPP of QatarEnergy.

Speaking to Qatar TV recently, he said KSPP is the first solar power plant in the country which will be followed by a power plant in Mesaieed with the capacity of 410 megawatts and a power plant in Ras Laffan with the capacity of 470 megawatts.

“The two projects, which will see the light of the day within two years from now, will be an added value to renewable energy sector of Qatar,” said Al Harami. He said KSPP is very important in a way that it has provided a great experience in producing solar power with a complete network of renewable energy feeding the national electricity grid. Before the establishment of KSPP, Qatar was fully dependent on gas and steam-powered turbines to produce electricity.

“KSPP is not only energy efficient but it also helped reduce manpower significantly in its operation,” said Al Harami. He said that KSPP and its main control room which are equipped with latest equipment and algorithm are being operated by few engineers and assistants. “The Sun rises by 6:30am, and the solar panels at KSPP start production after 5 minutes of sunrise, reaching the highest production within two hours.” 

KSPP, one of the largest solar power plants in terms of size and capacity in the region, has a total capacity of 800 megawatts. It has been built on 10 square kilometres area in Al Kharsaah.

The plant includes more than 1,800,000 solar panels that utilise sun tracking technology to follow the movement of the sun to ensure the most efficient use of land and to maximise the daily production. The plant utilises robotic arms and treated water to clean the solar panels at night in order to enhance the plant’s production efficiency.

Building KSPP comes as part of implementing QatarEnergy’s updated Sustainability Strategy, which re-emphasises its commitment, as a major energy producer, to responsible production of clean and affordable energy to facilitate the energy transition. 

In addition to increasing solar capacity to over 5 GW, the strategy targets reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and deploying carbon capture and storage technology to capture over 11 million tonnes per annum of CO2 in Qatar by 2035.

The strategy also aims to further reduce the carbon intensity of LNG facilities, bolstering Qatar’s commitment to responsibly supply cleaner LNG at scale in support of the energy transition.

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