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Qatar brings new solar power plant into operation

The French energy giant TotalEnergies is the Gulf nation's partner in the project.
This picture taken on Oct. 18, 2022 shows a view of solar panels at the newly-inaugurated al-Kharsaah solar power plant in Qatar.

Qatar inaugurated a new solar power plant Tuesday. 

The Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani attended the ceremony unveiling the Al Kharsaah Solar Power Plant in the eponymous town. The massive plant covers 10 square kilometers (6.2 miles) and includes more than 1.8 million solar panels. The facility has the capacity to meet 10% of Qatar’s peak electricity demand, the official Qatar News Agency reported. 

The French energy company TotalEnergies is a partner in the Al Kharsaah plant. The facility is the first large-scale solar power plant in Qatar and has a capacity of 800 peak megawatts, according to TotalEnergies. 

Spokespeople from TotalEnergies and the Qatari government did not immediately respond to Al-Monitor’s request for more information. 

Qatar has three solar plants; the others are in the Mesaieed and Ras Laffan industrial areas. 

Why it matters: The Al Kharsaah power plant is potentially significant due to its high capacity. One megawatt of solar power provides more than 2,000 megawatt hours of electricity per year, according to the Freeing Energy Project.

Like other oil and gas-rich Gulf states, Qatar is investing more in green technology and more sustainable forms of energy. Qatar also announced a $6.3 million investment in its Mesaieed and Ras Laffan solar power projects Tuesday, according to the Qatar News Agency. 

Relatedly, in September, Qatar’s state energy company announced a new blue ammonia energy project. In February, the Qatar National Bank launched a green-focused financing initiative. 

Know more: TotalEnergies is involved in green technology and energy projects throughout the region. In July, the company announced a carbon capture project with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company. 

The Emirati renewable energy company Masdar also announced a new solar project Tuesday. 

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