ACWA AND SHANG­HAI WIN MAK­TOUM SO­LAR CON­TRACTS

The project will cost Dh14.2 bil­lion and have a ca­pac­ity of 700 megawatts

The National - News - - BUSINESS - LEANNE GRAVES AND JOHN EVERINGTON

Sheikh Mo­hammed bin Rashid, Vice Pres­i­dent and Ruler of Dubai, hailed the launch of the world’s largest con­cen­trated so­lar power (CSP) plant, a mile­stone in the emi­rate’s am­bi­tion to gen­er­ate 75 per cent of its en­ergy needs from re­new­able sources by 2050.

The Dubai Elec­tric­ity and Wa­ter Au­thor­ity (Dewa) said yes­ter­day that it had se­lected Saudi Ara­bia’s Acwa Power and China’s Shang­hai Power to build a 700 megawatts (MW) ex­ten­sion to the Mo­hammed bin Rashid Al Mak­toum So­lar Com­plex, pro­vid­ing more than three times the ca­pac­ity of the ini­tial plans for the ex­ten­sion.

Un­der the terms of the con­tract, the new plant will de­liver en­ergy at 7.3 US cents per kilo­watt-hour (kWh).

The project will have the world’s tallest so­lar tower, mea­sur­ing 260 me­tres.

“The im­ple­men­ta­tion of the largest CSP plant in the world demon­strates the UAE lead­er­ship’s com­mit­ment to the pro­duc­tion of clean and re­new­able en­ergy, and en­trenches our place among the most ad­vanced coun­tries in this in­dus­try,” Sheikh Mo­hammed said.

“We will con­tinue to im­ple­ment projects that serve com­pre­hen­sive devel­op­ment di­rec­tions in our state and ad­vances the am­bi­tious goals we have set for the fu­ture, which we will start im­ple­ment­ing to­day.”

Dewa had pre­vi­ously ac­cepted a bid in June for a 200MW ex­ten­sion to the so­lar park, of­fer­ing elec­tric­ity at 9.45 cents per kWh. The new plant will come on­line in stages from 2020 and is ex­pected to cost Dh14.2 bil­lion to build. The power pur­chase agree­ment and the fi­nan­cial close of the deal are due to be fin­ished shortly.

“Award­ing this strate­gic project sup­ports the vi­sion of His High­ness Sheikh Mo­hammed bin Rashid Al Mak­toum, Vice Pres­i­dent and Prime Min­is­ter of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to pro­mote sus­tain­abil­ity, and make Dubai a global cen­tre for clean en­ergy and a green econ­omy,” said Saeed Al Tayer, the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor and chief ex­ec­u­tive of Dewa.

“This vi­sion is sup­ported by the Dubai Clean En­ergy Strat­egy 2050 to in­crease the share of clean en­ergy in Dubai’s to­tal power out­put to 7 per cent by 2020, 25 per cent by 2030, and 75 per cent by 2050.”

The price of 7.3 cents per kWh for the fourth phase of the so­lar com­plex comes in as more ex­pen­sive on pa­per than phases two and three of the project, which de­liv­ered prices of 5.84 cents and 2.99 cents re­spec­tively us­ing so­lar pho­to­voltaic (PV) tech­nol­ogy.

How­ever the new CSP plant, while more ex­pen­sive, will have the sig­nif­i­cant ad­van­tage of be­ing able to store en­ergy for when the sun has gone down, some­thing that is not pos­si­ble via PV tech­nol­ogy.

Paddy Pad­manathan, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of Acwa Power, said that the world had made great strides in us­ing so­lar en­ergy and, along the way, was now able to de­liver in­creas­ing amounts of elec­tric­ity con­sumed at a lower cost than fos­sil fuel al­ter­na­tives.

“The achilles heel has been the fact that we hadn’t been able to store elec­tric­ity at a util­ity scale ef­fi­ciently, so we haven’t been able to se­ri­ously con­tem­plate the idea that re­new­ables could one day de­liver all the elec­tric­ity needs to every per­son in the world,” he said.

Dubai Me­dia Of­fice

Sheikh Mo­hammed bin Rashid, Vice Pres­i­dent and Ruler of Dubai, an­nounced the ad­di­tion of a 700-megawatt ca­pac­ity ex­ten­sion to the Mo­hammed bin Rashid Al Mak­toum So­lar Com­plex at a cost of Dh14.2 bil­lion yes­ter­day

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