As the first commercial CSP tower solar project in United Arab Emirates (UAE), Dubai 200 MW CSP tower project catches eyes of global CSP players. With a minimum eight hours’ storage and expected online by 2021, the project is under the fourth phase of the Emirate’s Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (MBR) Solar Park, which planned a total installed capacity of 1000 MW by 2020, and 5000 MW till 2030 (1000 MW CSP included).

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The project is being procured through the independent power producer (IPP) model. Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA), the Solar Park and project governor, has invited prequalified bidders to submit proposals for the 200MW project by 15 May, 2017. DEWA received 30 Expressions of Interest for the CSP project, represented by 34 regional and global companies.

Six consortia have been shortlisted for the Request for Proposal (RfP) phase and their bids are expected by June. The six shortlisted parties include the main global CSP development firms from Middle East, Europe, USA and China:

1. ACWA Power (Saudi Arabia)
2. Alfanar (Saudi Arabia)/Suncan (China)
3. Cobra (Spain)
4. Engie (France)/Sepco3 (China)
5. Masdar (UAE)/EDF (France)/Abengoa (Spain)
6. SolarReserve (US)

The consortia’s bids are expected by this June, and DEWA will select the winner in July.

Dubai’s record-low PV price of $29.9/MWh for the 800 MW MBR phase 2 project has demonstrated the potential for cost optimization under the MBR program. And as for the 200MW CSP tower project, Dubai has targeted a cost of $80/MWh. However, Industry insiders event predict lower levelized cost of energy (LCOE) considering experiences in other countries. Moreover, the boom of China CSP market contributes increasing number of Chinese companies who are expected to help a lot in cost reduction.

Apparently the Dubai 200MW project might have the chance to witness a record-low price for CSP tower TES plants. Deep discussions on the project and cost issues will among the key topics during CSP Focus MENA 2017 conference will be held on Sept.13-14 in Dubai. Click to get the event brochure.