Dewa commissions second unit in fourth phase of world's largest solar park

Move adds 200 megawatts of clean energy using parabolic basin complex technology

The fourth phase is set to provide clean energy for approximately 320,000 residences. Photo: Dewa
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Dubai Electricity and Water Authority has commissioned the 200 megawatt second unit of the parabolic basin complex in the fourth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.

This phase, which uses the Independent Power Producer model with investments of up to Dh15.78 billion ($4.29 billion), is set to provide clean energy for about 320,000 homes and reduce carbon emissions by 1.6 million tonnes per year, the authority said on Monday.

The 950MW fourth phase is the largest single-site project in the world that combines concentrated solar power and photovoltaic technologies.

The latest step has “increased the solar park’s production capacity to 2,627MW, and Dewa's total production capacity to 15,117MW”, said Saeed Al Tayer, the authority's managing director and chief executive.

The solar park is one element of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 and the Dubai Net-Zero Carbon Emissions Strategy 2050, aiming to provide 100 per cent of energy production from clean sources by the middle of the century.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park will have a total capacity of 5,000MW and will cut 6.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually when it is fully completed in 2030.

In August, the authority said it selected Abu Dhabi's renewable energy company Masdar to build and operate the 1,800-megawatt sixth phase of the solar park.

This comes during the UAE's Year of Sustainability, during which it is hosting the Cop28 climate change summit in November.

A consortium led by the authority and Acwa Power established Noor Energy 1 as a project company to design, build and operate the fourth phase of the solar park. The authority holds a 51 per cent stake in the company, Acwa Power holds 25 per cent and the Chinese Silk Road Fund owns 24 per cent.

The fourth phase of the Solar Park uses three hybrid technologies to produce clean energy: 600MW from a parabolic basin complex (three units of 200MW each), 100MW from the world’s tallest solar power tower at 262.44 metres and 250MW from photovoltaic solar panels.

So far, 717MW have been commissioned from this phase, which will have the largest thermal storage capacity in the world of 15 hours, allowing for solar energy availability round the clock, the authority said.

The fourth phase included the installation of more than 790,000 photovoltaic solar panels. The project integrates 70,000 mirrors (heliostats) that track the sun’s movement.

Updated: October 02, 2023, 10:25 AM