Masdar launches solar photovoltaic plant in Mauritania

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Masdar, Abu Dhabi's renewable energy company, today launched a $32 million utility-scale, 15 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.

The Sheikh Zayed Solar Power Plant is located in the capital city of Nouakchott. The new facility accounts for 10 percent of Mauritania's energy capacity and will displace about 21,225 tons of carbon dioxide annually.

Mauritania's electricity grid, which is powered mostly by diesel generators, currently has an installed capacity of only 144 MW, resulting in severe energy shortages. With energy demand increasing by 12 percent annually, the addition of solar power will help meet future electricity shortfalls and supply the energy demand of about 10,000 homes.

The plant, which consists of 29,826 micromorph thin-film panels, was built using innovative and sustainable construction practices. In particular, project engineers designed the support structure for the PV modules to be piled into the ground instead of using a concrete foundation, which reduced the project's carbon footprint and cost.

With strong solar and wind energy resources, Mauritania has the potential to derive a significant portion of its electricity capacity from sustainable and reliable sources of energy.

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