Dewa starts pre-bidding process for fifth phase of mega solar park

Dubai wants to generate 75 per cent of its power from clean sources by 2050

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, 30 JANUARY 2017. Launch of the Free Electrons programme by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA). Attendees included DEWA Managing Director and CEO Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer, and other directors from some of the world's leading electricity companies. DEWA Managing Director and CEO Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer launches the initiative.. (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) ID: 94667. Journalist: None. Section: Business. *** Local Caption ***  AR_3010_Free_Electrons-10.JPG
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Dubai Electricity and Water Authority issued a request for qualification for the 900 Megawatt fifth phase of the emirate’s mega solar park as it forges ahead with plans to source the majority of its power from clean energy over the coming decades.

This phase of the solar park is being developed with photovoltaic solar panels based on the independent power project (IPP) model and will begin operations in stages starting from the second quarter of 2021, Dewa said in a statement, posted to the state-run news agency WAM on Saturday. IPPs involve the participation of the private sector in financing and developing a power project.

"We are committed to completing the phases of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park to the highest international standards with the latest solar power technologies,” said Saeed Al Tayer, chief executive of Dewa. “This ensures energy supplies to meet growing demand in Dubai and enhance the shift toward [a] green economy by increasing its share of clean energy.”

The solar park, which will become the world’s largest single site energy park once complete, is expected to produce 5,000MW by 2030, with a total investment of Dh50 billion. It is part of Dubai’s strategy to produce 75 per cent of its power from clean energy by 2050, which requires a capacity of 42,000MW generated from these sources. Dewa is building the park amid plans to reduce reliance on natural gas as the main source of energy for power and water generation.

The emirate is set to beat its 2020 clean energy target of 7 per cent and will be able to source 8 per cent of its power from renewables by next year, Mr Al Tayer said in January.

Dewa will invest Dh8bn on energy projects this year and has no plans to tap the bond market to finance its spending, Mr Al Tayer said at the time.

The fifth phase will be the third using the IPP model. The first 13MW PV phase which became operational in 2013, was followed by three IPPs. The second 200MW PV phase, which cost Dh1.2bn and was implemented in 2017, was developed by a consortium led by Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power and Spain’s TSK. The third 800 MW PV phase is being implemented by UAE clean energy firm Masdar and will be complete by 2020.

The fourth 950 MW phase will be the world’s largest single-site investment in Concentrated Solar Power based on the IPP model when complete and will cost Dh16bn. Unlike PV panels, CSP technology can store energy when the sun goes down. The fourth phase is being built by a partnership involving Dewa, Acwa Power and China’s Silk Road fund.