Al-Kharsaah Solar PV Power Plant (KSPP), the first in Qatar and one of the largest in terms of size and capacity in the region, with a total capacity of 800 megawatts (MW) was inaugurated in Qatar.
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The plant was inaugurated by Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar, in a special ceremony at the site in Al-Kharsaah that was attended by Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, and Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, the Minister of State for Energy Affairs and the President and CEO of QatarEnergy.
KSPP was constructed on a 10-sq-km land area. It includes more than 1,800,000 solar panels that utilize sun tracking technology to follow the movement of the sun to ensure the most efficient use of land and to maximize daily production. It utilizes robotic arms and treated water to clean the solar panels at night in order to enhance the plant's production efficiency.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Al-Kaabi highlighted some of Qatar’s efforts towards achieving its sustainability targets, stressing that “the Al-Kharsaah plant is one of the country's strategic initiatives to build projects that contribute to reducing gas and thermal emissions, thus achieving about a million-ton reduction in annual carbon dioxide emissions.”
Minister Al-Kaabi highlighted some of the environmental efforts and sustainability requirements that were taken into account in building this landmark plant, saying: “The site of Al-Kharsaah was chosen following extensive scientific studies to determine the sites with the best possible operational efficiency and maximum economic value, placing great consideration to the geological, environmental, and social impacts of establishing this station.”
The Al-Kharsaah Solar PV Power Plant is owned by a joint venture between affiliates of QatarEnergy Renewable Solutions (60%), Marubeni (20.4%) and TotalEnergies (19.6%).
Al-Kaabi thanked QatarEnergy’s partners in the project, namely, Japan’s Marubeni, France’s TotalEnergies, as well as the project’s contractors for their efforts to deliver this project. His Excellency also expressed his thanks and appreciation to QatarEnergy, Qatar Electricity and Water Company, and the President, management, and employees of KAHRAMAA for their continuous efforts to meet the country’s electricity and water needs with the highest standards.
"I am honoured to present ample thanks and gratitude to His Highness the Amir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, for his unlimited support and wise guidance, without which we would not have accomplished such a project,” he concluded.
KSPP started supplying electrical power to Qatar’s electricity grid last June, marking the startup of the 400 MW first phase of the 800 MW plant. Full capacity was reached by the end of the second phase. The KSPP can provide the national grid with about 10% of peak electricity demand.
Building this plant comes as part of implementing QatarEnergy’s updated Sustainability Strategy, which reemphasizes its commitment, as a major energy producer, to the 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 tons per annum of CO2 in Qatar by 2035. It 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. ■