Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) awarded the 700MW parabolic trough concentrated solar power (CSP) fourth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in a Saudi Arabia- China consortium with a record bid of $7.3 cents per KWh.
The project is considered the largest concentrated solar power (CSP) project in the world, and was awarded to a consortium comprising Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power and China’s Shanghai Electric.
The mega project will cost $3.9 billion, and is expected to be commissioned in stages, with the first one scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2020.
Financial closure has not been achieved yet, although it is known that $850 million will come from ACWA equity.
The project will comprise the world’s tallest solar tower of 260 meters, and is said to be as tall as Emirates Towers in Dubai.
The solar power plant will cover 3,750 hectares- i.e. equivalent to 4,500 football fields.
It will feature a combination of a tower and a field of troughs, which will all collect heat and store that heat in molten salt medium to supply electricity on demand at all hours.
Paddy Padmanathan, President & CEO of ACWA Power, said: “This project is a game changer in our quest to decarbonize electricity generation by making available renewable energy at a price that competes with fossil fuel generated electricity without subsidy not just when the sun is shining but at any time of the day and night”.
“This project at this scale and cost level is a cause celebration not just for the renewable energy industry but for each and every person in the world who is concerned about preserving the planet for future generations”.
Dubai has long expressed its intentions to promote sustainability and become a global centre for clean energy, as it is declared in Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050.
According to the 2050 plan, Dubai aims to increase the share of renewable energy in the city’s total power output to 7 percent by 2020, 25 percent by 2030 and 75 percent by 2050.
HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Managing Director &CEO of DEWA said: “Our focus on renewable energy generation has led to a drop in prices worldwide and has lowered the price of solar power bids in Europe and the Middle East”.
“This was evident today when we received the lowest CSP project cost in the world”.
The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is one of Dubai’s energy diversification initiatives to increase the share of renewable resources and aims to have a total capacity of 5GW.
The first phase was a 13MW Solar PV power plant which was commissioned in 2013; the second phase will add 200MW of Solar PV started construction in March 2017 and the 800MW third phase will add 800MW of Solar PV and is set to be operational by 2020.