The third phase of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s (DEWA) Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park with 800 MW of projects has been commissioned.
The park was inaugurated by Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
The solar park is the world’s largest single-site solar park globally and is being developed in Seih Al-Dahal, located south of Dubai. With a total capacity of 5 GW by 2030, the park is expected to incur a cost of AED 50 billion (~$13.6 billion). The 950 MW in the fourth phase of the project is being developed at an investment of AED 15.78 billion (~$4.3 billion) under the independent power producer model (IPP). The project also features the world’s tallest solar power tower that will be 262.44 meters high.
The Innovation Center in the park will act as a global hub for renewable and clean energy innovation and covers 4,355 square meters. It has been developed to support Dubai’s Clean Energy 2050 to provide 75% of its total electricity demand from clean energy sources by 2050.
DEWA developed the third phase of the project through a consortium led by Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) and EDF Group with an investment of AED 3.47 billion (~$944.6 million). The third phase will provide energy to 240,000 residents of Dubai, and it the first of its kind project in the Middle East using the single-axis solar tracking to increase the output.
According to the press release, the total capacity of operational projects at the park is nearly 1.01 GW. With the inauguration of the third phase of the program, the share of clean energy in Dubai’s power mix has increased to 9%, higher than the target of 7% by 2020.
Speaking on the park’s development, Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Chairman of Masdar, said, “As the UAE prepares for ‘The Next 50 Years,’ the solar park will further strengthen the country’s position as a global leader in cost-competitive renewable energy. The project is a prime example of how Masdar and DEWA are utilizing the latest advances in clean energy technology to drive cost efficiencies and maximize return on investments.”
DEWA has attracted nearly AED 40 billion (~$10.89 billion) in investments for the park, creating several opportunities in the process. The solar projects at the park have also recorded the world’s lowest solar power prices five times in a row, which bodes well for the future.
Last year, Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power had quoted the lowest tariff bid at less than ~$0.017/kWh for 900 MW of solar projects.
The fourth phase of the solar park will use three hybrid technologies to develop the project. The fourth phase will generate 600 MW from a parabolic basin complex, 100 MW from a solar power tower (based on molten salt technology), and 250 MW from photovoltaic solar panels. The molten salt receiver on top of the solar power tower is the most critical part of a concentrated solar power (CSP) project. It contains nearly 1,000 thin tubes that enable the absorption of sunlight and transfer it to the tubes’ molten salts.
Once complete, the project will be the largest global thermal storage capacity of 15 hours, which will result in round-the-clock electricity. DEWA and ACWA Power have formed a project company named Noor Energy 1 to design, build, and operate the project. The fourth phase will become operational in the stage starting Q3 2021.
In June 2019, Mercom had reported that DEWA had floated a tender for 900 MW of solar projects based on the independent power project model.
Image credit: Unsplash
Rakesh is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Prior to joining Mercom, he worked in many roles as a business correspondent, assistant editor, senior content writer, and sub-editor with bcfocus.com, CIOReview/Silicon India, Verbinden Communication, and Bangalore Bias. Rakesh holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). More articles from Rakesh Ranjan.