Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid visits Dh50bn mega solar park project

Solar park in Dubai to provide 5,000 megawatts of clean energy by 2030

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Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid visited the world's largest single-site solar energy park on Tuesday.

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai has entered its third phase of construction with a fourth phase, which will cost Dh15 billion, yet to begin, the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai said.

The sprawling solar park has a planned capacity of 5,000 megawatts by 2030 and cost Dh50bn to build. The third phase aims to provide clean energy for more than 240,000 residences in Dubai.

During a site visit on Tuesday, Sheikh Mohammed opened Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s Innovation Centre. The centre houses an auditorium for events, conferences and training programmes on solar power, renewable energy and other green initiatives. The four-storey building covers 4,355 square metres and is 88 metres high.

Sheikh Mohammed toured the centre’s exhibitions, which focus on solar power and its various technologies.

He also visited the site of the 950MW fourth phase of the solar park, the world’s largest Concentrated Solar Power project. The project features the world’s tallest solar power tower that will be 262.44 metres high.

Sheikh Mohammed said the park would contribute to the emirate's clean energy drive.

"Our goal is 75 per cent clean energy for Dubai over the next 30 years ... we say what we do ... and we do what we say," he said on Twitter.

The park already plays an active role in providing clean energy, currently providing about 9 per cent of the energy mix for Dubai.

With a significant focus to reduce carbon emissions, Dubai reduced its emissions by 14 million tonnes last year, a 22 per cent reduction on the previous year.

The emirate aims to generate 25 per cent of its energy requirements from renewable sources by 2030 and 75 per cent by 2050.

With the inauguration of the third phase on Tuesday, the 9 per cent share of clean energy in Dubai's total power output exceeds the target of Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to provide 7 per cent of power from clean energy by 2020.

The solar park will become operational in stages, starting in the third quarter of 2021.

It is being built to reduce reliance on natural gas and diversify the emirate's power sources.

“As the UAE prepares for the next 50 years, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park will further strengthen the country’s position as a global leader in cost-competitive renewable energy," said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and chairman of Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar).

"This project is a prime example of how Masdar and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority are utilising the latest advances in clean energy technology to drive cost efficiencies and maximise return on investment."