Utilities Middle East
300MW new capacity added to Dubai’s solar park
The new capacity is the first stage of the 900MW fifth phase of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park
Dubai has inaugurated the 300 megawatt (MW) first stage of the 900MW fifth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai presided over the inauguration.
Implemented by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) using the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model, the solar park is the largest single-site solar park in the world with a planned total capacity of 5,000MW by 2030.
The Solar Park’s projects constitute one of the key pillars of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, which aims to provide 75 percent of Dubai’s total power capacity from clean energy sources by 2050. The fifth phase investments amount to AED2.058 billion, according to DEWA.
In November 2019, DEWA announced the consortium led by ACWA Power and Gulf Investment Corporation as the Preferred Bidder to build and operate the fifth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park using photovoltaic (PV) solar panels based on the IPP model.
DEWA achieved a world record by receiving the lowest bid of US$1.6953 cents per kilowatt hour (Levelised Cost of Energy) for this phase. A total of 60 Requests for Qualifications (RFQ) were received from international developers.
To implement the project, DEWA established Shuaa Energy 3 in partnership with the consortium led by ACWA Power and Gulf Investment Corporation.
DEWA owns 60 percent of the company, and the consortium owns the remaining 40 percent.
The project uses the latest Solar photovoltaic bifacial technologies, which allows solar radiation to reach the front and back of the panels, with single-axis tracking to increase generation.
The fifth phase will provide clean energy to over 270,000 residences in Dubai, including 90,000 residences by the commissioned first stage, and will reduce 1.18 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually.
To be commissioned in stages until 2023, the fifth phase uses the latest solar photovoltaic bifacial technologies with Single Axis Tracking to increase energy production.
Commissioning the 300MW first stage of the fifth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park increases DEWA’s total capacity of clean energy to 1,310MW.
This brings clean energy capacity in Dubai’s energy mix to around 10 percent. DEWA’s production capacity has increased to 13,200MW of electricity and 490 million imperial gallons of desalinated water per day (MIGD).
By the end of 2021, clean energy capacity will increase to 13.3 percent of Dubai’s total energy mix after adding 517MW from solar photovoltaic panels and CSP in the fourth phase of the solar park.
“These include 100MW from the world’s tallest CSP tower at 262.44 metres, 200MW from first project of the parabolic trough, and 217 MW using photovoltaic solar panels,” said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.
Al Tayer emphasised that DEWA’s major project in cooperation with the private sector and using the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model contributes to the economic growth of the Emirate.
Through this model, DEWA received the lowest solar energy prices (Levelised Cost of Energy) globally five consecutive times, making Dubai a global benchmark for solar power prices. DEWA has attracted investments of around AED40 billion from the IPP model.