Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has set a May deadline for proposals from qualified bidders for the development of a 200 megawatt (MW) Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant, it said on Monday.
The CSP plant, expected to be operational by 2021, is the fourth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which will reach a total capacity of 1,000 MW by 2020, and 5,000 MW by 2030.
Dubai plans to have 5,000 megawatts of solar capacity at the park by 2030 as it seeks to reduce reliance on natural gas as the main source of energy for electricity. The solar plant started Monday will produce enough electricity for 50,000 homes. The United Arab Emirates, which holds about 6 percent of global crude reserves, plans to spend 600 billion dirhams on renewable energy by the middle of the century, Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei said in January.
“The U.A.E. started early its preparations to bid farewell to the last drop of oil,” Al Tayer said Monday at the inauguration of the new plant. Dubai will generate 10 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2020, he said.
Construction for the third phase of the solar park, an 800 megawatt facility, is under way, Al Tayer said. Contracts for the fourth phase of the park will be awarded in June, he said. That segment of the solar park will likely supply power for about 8 cents per kilowatt hour, using concentrated solar power technology, he said.
DEWA is funding the projects through a partnership with power plant developers. It doesn’t plan to raise more debt on its own to refinance borrowings and expects to use cash flow to repay a $1 billion sukuk coming due in April 2018, Al Tayer said.
A request for proposals was sent to qualified bidders on 15 January.