Construction of the fourth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai has commenced, with the completion of the first 128 pillars of the scheme’s main tower, project owner Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) said on Saturday.
The Dh50 billion energy scheme is projected to reach a total capacity of 5,000 megawatts (MW) by 2030, accelerating Dubai’s efforts to shift towards use of clean and renewable energy, Dewa said.
The UAE plans to meet 7 per cent of its power needs from solar over the period between now and 2020.
The fourth phase of the park is being developed by Noor Energy 1, a partnership between Dewa, Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power and China’s Silk Road Fund. It is the world’s largest single-site investment project in Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) technology, which generates energy from the sun by using mirrors and lenses spread over large areas. The technique is receiving considerable uptake in the region due to its lower costs.
It will also have the world’s tallest solar tower, at 260 metres, and the largest thermal energy storage capacity in the world of 15 hours, enabling round-the-clock energy generation, Saeed Al Tayer, managing director and chief executive of Dewa, said in a statement to media.
The scheme also achieved the lowest electricity generation cost in the world, of 2.4 US cents per kilowatt hour for the 250MW panels and 7.3 cents per kW/h for the 700MW CSP technology.
The total capacity of the fourth phase of the solar park rose from 700MW to 950MW with investments for this phase reaching Dh16bn, Mr Al Tayer added.
In May, the solar park opened the first part of its phase three – which is being built by Abu Dhabi’s Masdar and France’s EDF Group and targeted for completion by 2020.
At the time, Mr Al Tayer said a 300MW CSP plant would be tendered before the first quarter of 2019, exceeding the scheme’s targeted installed capacity of 1,000MW by 2020.