home Pending Reactors, U Unit 3 grid connection enhances energy security, adds over gigawatt of clean electricity capacity to UAE grid

Unit 3 grid connection enhances energy security, adds over gigawatt of clean electricity capacity to UAE grid

The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and its operations and maintenance subsidiary, Nawah Energy Company (Nawah), in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Transmission & Despatch Company (TRANSCO), a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA), has successfully connected Unit 3 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant to the UAE grid and is dispatching its first megawatts of carbon-free electricity to the nation.

The grid connection of Unit 3 is a further achievement of the UAE nuclear energy sector in spearheading the delivery of the Net Zero by 2050 target, with Units 1 and 2 already commercially operational.

The safe and successful start-up of Unit 3 on 22nd September 2022 also reflects the UAE’s expertise in meeting stringent national regulations and international standards, as well as the leading skills, qualifications and competencies of the Emirati-led teams who have achieved this milestone at the plant.

Once commercially operational in the coming months, Unit 3 – the third of four units at the Barakah Plant – will add another 1,400 megawatts of zero-carbon emission electricity capacity to the national grid, a major step forward in ensuring the reliability, efficiency and resilience of the UAE grid for at least the next 60 years.

This major milestone shows the benefits of the firm and sustained collaboration between ENEC and TRANSCO and the significant progress being made in bringing the four units of the Barakah Plant, the first multi-unit operational nuclear plant in the Arab World, online and accelerating the decarbonisation of the UAE’s power sector on the way to Net Zero by 2050.

The UAE’s decision to add nuclear energy to its energy mix back in 2008 is now delivering clear results on the ground, providing a clean and reliable baseload source of electricity as the basis for the expansion of renewable sources to benefit the nation.

Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ENEC, said, “Connecting Unit 3 to the UAE transmission grid is another proud moment for the nation and our Emirati-led teams, powering a net zero economy through their world-class capability, knowledge and expertise. Barakah is spearheading the decarbonisation of the power sector, contributing 25% of the UAE’s National Determined Contributions to climate action, and executing our wise leadership’s long-term vision.

“The UAE has taken a realistic, long-term approach to energy planning, using proven clean sources to deliver a swift and sharp decarbonisation of the power sector, delivering 25% of the UAE’s Nationally Determined Contributions for carbon emissions reduction. We extend our full appreciation to TRANSCO, a key local partner, for their experience in supporting our adherence and commitment to the highest safety, quality, security, and transparency standards.”

TRANSCO’s role in this effort is both crucial and extensive, having constructed more than 1,100 kilometres of 400 kV overhead lines to connect the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant Unit 3 to the Abu Dhabi electricity grid, ensuring the power generated at Barakah is safely, securely and reliably delivered to consumers across the UAE.

Dr. Afif Saif Al Yafei, Chief Executive Officer of TRANSCO, said, “TRANSCO plays an essential role in enhancing energy security while also helping the UAE reach its net zero ambitions. As the nation embraces innovation and advances toward a more sustainable future with enhanced megaproject capabilities, TRANSCO continues to ensure these projects are effectively integrated into our existing resilient network infrastructure, providing a reliable and efficient power supply across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and beyond. Integrating Unit 3 at the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant is essential to increasing clean energy provision to the grid.

“TRANSCO is proud to have partnered with ENEC and its operation and maintenance subsidiary, Nawah, to add over a gigawatt of clean electricity capacity to the UAE’s transmission network. We look forward to continuing the collaborative success on the final Unit at Barakah,” Dr. Al Yafei added.

With both Units 1 and 2 generating clean electricity every minute of the day and night, the close working partnership between ENEC and TRANSCO enables the reliability, efficiency and resilience of the electrical infrastructure of the UAE grid. TRANSCO will continue supporting the delivery of each milestone of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme, a vital part of the UAE’s clean energy system, safely and to the highest international standards of quality.

Source: Emirates News Agency