Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer reviews progress on 300MW second stage of third phase of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park

HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) reviewed the progress on the 300 megawatt (MW) second stage of the 800MW third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. DEWA is implementing this phase using the Independent Power Producer (IPP) system in partnership with a consortium led by Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) and EDF Group, through its subsidiary EDF Énergies Nouvelles.

During the visit, Al Tayer was accompanied by Waleed Salman, Executive Vice President of Business Development and Excellence at DEWA; Jamal Shaheen Al Hammadi, Vice President of Clean Energy & Diversification at DEWA; and a number of DEWA officials.

The solar park supports the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to promote sustainability and transform Dubai into a global hub for clean energy and green economy. It also helps achieve the objectives of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to provide 75% of Dubai's power output from clean energy sources by 2050.

DEWA is building the 800MW third phase of the solar park using photovoltaic (PV) technology, in three stages, on a total area of 16 square kilometres. This solar plant is the first of its kind in the MENA region with an advanced solar tracking system to increase generation efficiency by 20-30% when compared to fixed installations. DEWA recorded a new world record in the cost of photovoltaic solar energy for this phase of the solar park at a Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) of USD 2.99 cents per kilowatthour, using photovoltaic solar panels, based on the IPP model.

The first stage with a capacity of 200MW became operational in May 2018 and uses unique technologies, including over 800,000 self-cleaning solar cells that utilise robots to maintain a high-performance level. The project provides over 60,000 residences with electricity, reducing over 270,000 tonnes of carbon emissions every year. The 300MW second stage will become operational in 2019, and the 300MW third stage will become operational in 2020.

Al Tayer was briefed on the detailed progress of the 300MW third phase of the solar park, by representatives from Shuaa Energy 2, which was established by DEWA with a 60% stake in the company. DEWA launched Shuaa Energy 2 in partnership with the Masdar-led consortium, and Électricité de France (EDF), through its subsidiary EDF Energies Nouvelles. The consortium owns the remaining 40% of the company; Masdar owns 24% and EDF Energies Nouvelles owns 16%. The international consortium led by the renewable energy contractors GranSolar and Acciona from Spain and Ghella from Italy are handling the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC).

The 300MW second stage of the third phase is now 50% completed, and Al Tayer emphasised the need to adhere to the highest standards of health, safety, and quality in the project, and to execute it according to schedule.

The 13MW photovoltaic first phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park became operational in 2013. The 200MW photovoltaic second phase of the solar park was launched in March 2017, and the 800MW photovoltaic third phase will be operational by 2020.

DEWA upgraded the overall capacity of the fourth phase of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park from 700 to 950MW by adding 250MW of photovoltaic solar panel technology. The project will use three technologies to produce clean energy: 600MW from a parabolic basin complex, 100MW from a concentrated solar tower and 250MW from photovoltaic panels, with total investments of AED 16 billion.

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