HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has inaugurated the first stage of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park Phase 3.
Phase 3 will have an eventual capacity of 800MW when completed in 2020 but is being built in three stages. The first stage, launched by the Dubai Ruler on Tuesday, consists of 200MW of photovoltaic power with the second and third 300MW stages to be completed in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
It means the Solar Park is now producing a total of 413MW of power after the 13MW Phase 1 was launched in 2013 followed by the 200MW Phase 2 in 2017.
DEWA and a consortium led by Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) signed an agreement in 2016 to implement Phase 3 at the lowest Levelised Cost of Energy in the world of 2.99 US cents per kilowatt hour.
HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA), said: “This phase is a key milestone and shows our strong belief in the role of clean energy in shaping a sustainable future. This supports the UAE’s efforts to strengthen its leading global position in clean energy through such major projects.
“This solar plant is the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa, with an advanced solar tracking system to increase generation efficiency. It also uses unique technologies including over 800,000 self-cleaning solar cells that maintain a high-performance level. The project has been implemented with over 2.4 million accident-free man-hours. It will provide over 60,000 residences with electricity, reducing over 270,000 tonnes of carbon emissions every year.”
The 700MW fourth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park will use Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), unlike the first three phases which all use photovoltaic (PV) technology.
The AED 1.2bn ($327mn) project is being developed by DEWA in partnership with ACWA Power and the Silk Road Fund with Shanghai Electric as the main contractor. It will feature the world’s tallest solar tower measuring 260 metres and storage of up to 15 hours throughout the day.
A total of $13.6bn is expected to be invested in the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park to take the capacity to 5,000MW by 2030.