Our team is 95% finished delivering materials for the world’s largest single-plot power plant under construction in the world.
The 800 MW project in Qatar is so big that if you lined up all the solar trackers from this project, the line would extend the full length of Qatar (from North to South) more than 4 times, totaling 700 kilometers. A project of that magnitude calls for supply chain fluidity and expert logistical planning to stay on track, including an understanding of supply chain best practices during COVID-19, how to efficiently unload thousands of tons of equipment onsite, and how to optimize projects to last 30+ years without intervention.
Optimizing the Unloading Process
The Qatar project extends across a space that’s larger than 3,500 football fields. Delivering the equipment necessary for the project ahead of schedule has required continuous shipments of equipment and materials. Throughout the project, we’ve taken in 2,000 containers of shipments, transporting 36,477 tons of steel. Historically, teams of 3-4 people would painstakingly spend hours unloading profile packages that span 11 meters in length, one by one. Ideematec knew this process could be optimized and implemented a tailored solution to unload the full content of a shipping container in one step, in less than 10 minutes. These semi-automated loading and unloading systems provide nearly real-time transparency in communication making the unloading process safer, quicker and less labor intensive.
Staying Resilient to Supply Chain Challenges
Because of the pandemic, much of the solar industry has faced severe supply chain delays since early 2020. Thankfully, overall solar generation has only been minimally impacted by Covid-19-related construction delays. In fact, in Q3 2020, utility-scale projects soared representing 70% of all solar capacity in the US at 2.7 GWdc.
The distribution of our global supply operations helps ensure that we’re prepared and protected against delays. At the Qatar site, 30MW of equipment are delivered and unloaded per week. To keep up with demand for each of our projects, Ideematec’s supply chain is active across the globe, producing in Europe, China, India and Saudi Arabia. We are able to produce 80% of our tracking system out of any single facility. This has proved to be critical throughout pandemic-driven supply chain constraints.
Designed and Manufactured for Longevity
We are confident that our trackers will ensure that the project can produce clean energy for years to come. That level of quality assurance begins in the early design stages when our engineers carefully choose materials that will last up to 30 years in a regional environment. Because the Qatar trackers are exposed to harsh desert winds and sands, it must be protected against corrosion and abrasion. Each of our trackers are covered in a special zinc magnesium coating that helps withstand these conditions. Additionally, cleaning robots move independently across rows of trackers with a smart cleaning solution to keep dust off the modules for maximum efficiency. Ideematec’s trackers feature longer rows of modules which require less robots to maintain the system, cutting down on long term O&M costs for repairing and replacing the robots.
Our work on the world’s largest single-axis solar tracker project has solidified our team’s commitment to our global supply chain operations, confirms the importance of our fast track unloading process and makes obvious the need for equipment that is built to last. Just recently we were able to help meet this demand by increasing our production capacity to 75 MW per week. While not all of our projects are as big as our project in Qatar, all of our projects receive the same careful attention to the details that matter most. We look forward to continuing to share progress on this milestone project throughout the year!