Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) has received bids to build its latest solar power project, Noor 1.

Around half of the 14 companies that were prequalified submitted bids including Spain’s Elecnor, the local Enviromena with the US’ First Solar and the US’ Sun Power with French oil and gas major Total (MEED 8:6:11).

Several prequalified companies cited Masdar’s insistence that 50 per cent of the project will use solar panels that are manufactured by the company in Germany as an important factor in their decision not to bid.

The facility will be built using an engineering, procurement and construction contract. Noor 1 is set to be followed by two more photovoltaic solar projects, Noor 2 and 3, for which the land has already been allocated. Each new phase is expected to have a capacity of 100MW.

The Noor 1 project will be Masdar’s third major solar power project. It will be located to the east of Al-Ain city in the Al-Aflaj area. Construction is to start in 2012 and the expected completion date is the third quarter of 2013.

Masdar already has a 10MW PV solar facility in operation. The project, which covers 22 hectares, comprises 5MW of crystalline technology and 5MW of thin film units. It entered operation in April 2009 and is grid-connected.

Shams 1, Masdar’s first concentrated solar power project, is currently under construction having reached financial close in March. Spain’s Abengoa and France’s Total are the developers on the project (MEED 6:3:11).