Solar partly powering world’s largest reverse osmosis desalination plant


ACWA Power and EWEC connected the water plant to the grid in December 2021. The Al Taweelah site is located in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD), about halfway between the cities of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

According to ACWA, the facility is 44% largest than the world’s current largest reverse osmosis (RO) plant in terms of capacity. It is able to meet water demand for more than 350,000 households.

“Al Taweelah now provides 100 million gallons of desalinated water per day, and will eventually reach 200 million gallons per day, making it the world’s largest reverse osmosis (RO) facility with a capacity of 909,200 cubic meters per day,” the Saudi company said. “The plant supports the industries and the community at Al Taweelah and the surrounding areas, and will additionally play a key role in catering to Abu Dhabi’s peak water demand, which is expected to rise by Q1 in 2023.”

ACWA did not reveal any details about the solar park that is being used to cover part of the desalination unit's electricity demand.

“Solar energy is expected to account for at least 30% of the project’s electricity capacity within eight years, with a target of raising this figure to 55% by the end of the first quarter life of the project,” the company said.

According to ACWA's website, the solar park is about 69 MW in size. The total investment in the entire water plant is $874 million. ACWA owns a 40% stake in the project, while the remaining share is held by UAE-based Mubadala Capital and Abu Dhabi National Energy Co.

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