In one fell swoop, the United Arab Emirates has reduced its dependence on oil after opening the largest individual solar power project in the world. Before the UAE brought its massive solar farm online recently, the US held the record for the biggest facility, a solar farm that could generate 569MW. That looks extremely modest compared to the 1.18 gigawatts that the Noor Abu Dhabi solar project can produce at peak power.
Not surprisingly, Abu Dhabi is keen to tout the environmental benefits. It estimates that Noor Abu Dhabi’s 3.2 million panels provide enough power for 90,000 people, and will lower CO2 emissions by 1 million metric tonnes (984,206 imperial tons). That’s the equivalent of pulling 200,000 cars off the roads, according to the emirate. The UAE is still heavily reliant on oil, but it does have plans to develop more record-setting solar farms in the near future.