Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has awarded the contract to build the AED 14.2bn ($3.86bn) fourth phase of the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Solar Park to a consortium of Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power and China’s Shanghai Electric.
The pair submitted a winning bid for the 700MW plant of $7.3 cents per kilowatt hour (kW/h), smashing the world record for concentrated solar power (CSP) technology.
It was announced in June that the lowest bid for the fourth stage of the plant was $9.45 cents per kW/h, significantly higher than the eventual winning bid, however that was for a 200MW plant. The difference reflects the larger than planned size of the project which will also have the world’s tallest solar tower, measuring 260 metres.
As with previous phases of Dubai’s solar park, phase 4 will be developed under the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model, whereby ACWA Power and Shanghai Electric will hold a stake in the project in partnership with DEWA.
The developers will supply electricity to DEWA under a power purchase agreement which will reach financial close shortly, the utility said adding that phase 4 will be commissioned in stages, starting from Q4 of 2020.
Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum hailed progress on the solar park as an integral part of Dubai’s energy strategy.
“We have made steady progress in realising the goals of Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 that was launched as part of our objective to transform Dubai into a global clean energy and green economy hub. The carbon footprint of Dubai will be the lowest in the world by 2030,” said Sheikh Mohammed.
HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA said: “This achievement greatly boosts our objectives and positions us as one of the leading countries of the world in terms of clean and renewable energy. The Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 aims to increase the share of clean energy in Dubai’s total power output to 7% by 2020, 25% by 2030, and 75% by 2050.”
The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is set to become the largest single-site solar park in the world, generating 1,000MW by 2020 and 5,000MW by 2030.
The first three phases of the project are all based on solar photovoltaic (PV) technology. Phase 1 (13MW) became operational in 2013 and the 200MW second phase, also developed by ACWA power, was launched in March this year.
The 800MW photovoltaic third phase will be operational by 2020, and the first stage of the 700MW CSP fourth phase will be commissioned in Q4 of 2020.