Mohammed launches new 300MW phase of solar park - GulfToday

Mohammed launches new 300MW phase of solar park


The new phase is the first stage of the 900 megawatt plan of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has inaugurated the 300 megawatt (MW) first stage of the 900MW fifth phase of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.

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 per cent of Dubai’s total power capacity from clean energy sources by 2050. The fifth phase investments amount to Dhs2.058 billion, according to Dewa.

During his visit to the site, Sheikh Mohammed was accompanied by Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai; Sheikh Ahmed Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Media Council; Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy: and Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani, Director-General of His Highness the Ruler’s Court in Dubai.

Sheikh Mohammed was welcomed at the solar park by Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of Dewa, and board members of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, including Dawood Al Hajiri, Director-General of Dubai Municipality; Abdulla Bin Kalban, Managing Director of Emirates Global Aluminium; Saif Humaid Al Falasi, CEO of Emirates National Oil Company; and Nasser Abu Shehab, CEO of the Strategy and Corporate Governance Sector at the Roads and Transport Authority, in addition to Mohammad Abdullah Abunayyan, Chairman of ACWA Power; and Li Xuhang, Consul-General of the People’s Republic of China in Dubai.

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 $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 per cent of the company, and the consortium owns the remaining 40 per cent. 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.

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid also launched a project to study the feasibility of generating electricity by utilising wind energy in Hatta. Based on field visits and available preliminary data on wind in Hatta, Dewa has identified the location for a wind farm with a total capacity of about 28MW. Actual wind speed for a full year is currently being measured at the location using a 150-metre metal tower. The purpose is to collect accurate data and study the total capacity of the power plant as well as other technical details in terms of number of turbines, capacity of each, annual operating hours, among other things.

“At Dewa, our strategy and plans are guided by the vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum to promote sustainability, innovation and the shift towards a green sustainable economy. The project to generate electricity using wind power is part of our efforts to diversify clean and renewable energy sources in Dubai. These include photovoltaic solar panels technology, Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), green hydrogen production using renewable energy, and pumped-storage technology in the hydroelectric power station in Hatta,” said Al Tayer.

“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 per cent. 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 per cent 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,” he added.

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 Dhs40 billion from the IPP model.


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