I visited Sweihan Solar Photovoltaic Power Plant in Abu Dhabi, an extremely large solar power plant located in the middle of the vast desert. This plant is under construction by a joint venture (JV) named Sweihan Solar Holding Co., Ltd. which was established in 2017. The ratio of capital contribution to the JV is Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA) – 60%, Marubeni Corporation, Japan – 20%, and JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd., China – 20%. This plant has the output of 1,177MW, and is expected to become the world largest plant in the renewable energy sector upon completion of its construction.
Abu Dhabi is one of oil producing countries, but the government recognized the limitations of the future of petroleum, and started developing an alternative energy from an early stage. Sweihan Solar Photovoltaic Power Plant is indeed a representative example of the case.
As mentioned above, Marubeni Corporation is one of the three owners of the JV, and substantially, was managing and operating the construction of the plant. I was accompanied by the Marubeni Corporation staff at the site of the plant, and as a specialist on solar energy, I actively exchanged views with the staff and learned a lot from them. With regard to JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd., which is also one of the owners of the JV, I happened to have some contacts with the company 5 to 6 years ago.
Furthermore, in order to operate this solar power plant in the middle of the vast desert, the staff of Marubeni Corporation are facing difficulties in keeping the machines work constantly to sweep the surface of huge panels, and taking necessary measures to protect rare lizards designated as an endangered species from extinction. These difficulties are not experienced in Japan.