Bids for the Shams 1 project were originally due to be submitted on 31 August, but the deadline is being put back at the request of potential bidders.

Masdar is inviting four companies to bid for the independent power project. They include three Spanish companies, Cobra, Iberdrola and Abengoa Solar.

The fourth group is a consortium of two German companies, Man Ferrostaal and Solar Millennium.

The 100MW plant, which will be located at Madinat Zayed in the west of the emirate, is to be developed under a 25-year, build-own-operate concession. It is due to be completed in 2010.

Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Company has entered a long-term agreement to buy the electricity generated at the plant before selling it on to the national grid.

Germany’s Fichtner is the technical consultant on the project. It carried out the initial feasibility study for the plant and will evaluate proposals from the bidders.

At least two more plants are planned at the site. Tenders for Shams 2 and Shams 3 are expected to be issued before the end of 2008 and in 2009 respectively.

Masdar is also investing in solar power schemes overseas. It has started work on a $600m photovoltaic factory in Erfurt, Germany, and is planning a second facility in Abu Dhabi.

The company is also developing three projects in Spain.