How Mohammed bin Rashid solar park plays a key role in Dubai’s net-zero strategy

The park will reduce more than 6.5 million tonnes of emissions annually

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Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the largest single-site solar park in the world, will help reduce more than 6.5 million tonnes of emissions when it becomes operational, contributing to Dubai’s net-zero strategy.

The park has a planned capacity of 5,000 megawatts and is developed at a cost of Dh50 billion ($13.61bn) across five stages. It will be operational by 2030.

The park is expected to play a key role in helping Dubai procure 100 per cent of its power from clean energy sources by 2050.

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The clean energy capacity share is currently around 11.4 per cent of Dubai’s energy mix, and is expected to reach around 14 per cent by the end of 2022
Saeed Al Tayer, managing director and chief executive of Dewa

The current capacity at the solar park is 1,527MW using photovoltaic solar panels, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority said.

“Dewa is implementing more projects with a total capacity of 1,333MW using solar photovoltaic and Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) in addition to future phases to reach 5,000MW by 2030,” said Saeed Al Tayer, managing director and chief executive of Dewa.

“The clean energy capacity share is currently around 11.4 per cent of Dubai’s energy mix, and is expected to reach around 14 per cent by the end of 2022.”

The first phase, which has a 13MW capacity, became operational in 2013. It comprised around 152,000 photovoltaic cells and generates nearly 28 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity annually. The first phase helps reduce about 15,000 tonnes of carbon emissions in a year, Dewa said.

The solar park’s second phase was launched in 2017 and was developed at a cost of Dh1.2bn. It provides clean energy to around 50,000 residences in Dubai and reduces 214,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually. Dewa also used the IPP (Internet Printing Protocol) model to develop it where a consortium led by Saudi Arabia's Acwa Power was the main developer, while Spain’s TSK was the main contractor.

The 800MW third phase was developed using the IPP model in partnership with a consortium led by Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) and EDF Group, through its subsidiary EDF Énergies Nouvelles for Dh3.4bn. It provides clean energy for more than 240,000 residences in Dubai.

The fourth phase, being developed at a cost of Dh15.7bn, will have a capacity of 950MW. Upon completion, the project will also have the ability to store energy and will power 320,000 residences, as well as reduce 1.6 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually.

The final phase will be developed by a consortium led by Acwa Power and Gulf Investment Corporation, and will aim to power 270,000 residences while mitigating 1.18 million tonnes of emissions.

The solar park also features an innovation centre and an R&D centre to further boost sustainability and knowledge about clean energy, Dewa said.

Updated: May 05, 2022, 12:25 PM
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