Dewa selects Abu Dhabi's Masdar to build sixth phase of world's biggest solar park

The 1,800MW phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park will become operational in stages, starting from the fourth quarter of 2024

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park Phase 5 in Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National
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Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) has selected Abu Dhabi's renewable energy company Masdar to build and operate the 1,800-megawatt sixth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the world's largest single-site solar park.

The project, which will use photovoltaic solar panels based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model, has an estimated cost of Dh5.51 billion ($1.4 billion), the Dubai Media Office said.

“Dewa is committed to completing the phases of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park according to the highest international standards using the latest solar power technologies to enhance the shift towards a green sustainable economy by increasing the share of clean and renewable energy,” Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director and chief executive of Dewa, said.

The emirate has set a target of generating 25 per cent of its energy requirements from renewable sources by 2030 and 100 per cent by 2050.

The sixth phase of the solar park comes during the UAE's Year of Sustainability in 2023, and the year it is hosting the Cop28 climate change summit, in November.

With a total investment of Dh50 billion, and based on the IPP model, the solar park will have a capacity of 5,000MW and will reduce 6.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually when it is fully completed in 2030.

Dewa said it received 23 expressions of interest from international applicants to develop this project to build and operate the sixth phase of the solar park.

The final selection came after Dewa said in June it received two bids from Saudi Arabia's Acwa Power and Masdar for the sixth phase.

Masdar submitted the lowest bid of $1.62154 cents per kilowatt hour, which was the lowest levelised cost of energy (LCOE) for any of Dewa's solar IPP projects so far, it said on Sunday.

The project will become operational in stages starting from the fourth quarter of 2024, according to the utility.

The total capacity of the solar energy projects commissioned at the solar park has reached 2,427MW, the media office said.

Dewa is building another project with a total capacity of 433MW. The sixth phase of the solar park will increase the total production capacity to 4,660MW.

In June, Dewa inaugurated the 900MW phase five of the solar park, which will provide clean energy to about 270,000 homes in the emirate, reducing carbon emissions by 1.18 million tonnes annually.

The share of clean energy in Dubai’s energy mix is about 16.3 per cent of its total installed capacity, Mr Al Tayer said.

This will reach 24 per cent in 2026 with the completion of the sixth phase and the remaining phases under construction of the solar park, he said.

Updated: August 13, 2023, 9:57 AM