Dubai awards $3.9bn contract for world’s largest concentrated solar power project

The project will feature a 260-metre tower receiving focused sunlight – the world’s tallest such tower



Dubai has officially launched the world’s largest single-site Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.

The CSP project, which will be built at a total cost of Dhs14.2bn ($3.9bn), was unveiled by the UAE’s Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The project, which will have the world’s tallest solar tower, measuring 260 metres, will generate 700MW of energy to support Dubai’s electricity grid.

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has awarded the contract for the project based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model to a consortium comprising of Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power and China’s Shanghai Electric.

The consortium bid the lowest levelised cost of electricity of 7.3 US cents per kilowatt hour (kW/h).

The power purchase agreement and the financial close are due to be completed shortly, a statement said.

The project will be commissioned in stages, starting from Q4 of 2020.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is the largest single-site solar park in the world, based on the IPP model.

It will generate 1,000MW by 2020 and 5,000MW by 2030.

The 13MW photovoltaic first phase became operational in 2013, while the 200MW photovoltaic second phase of the solar park was launched in March 2017.

The 800MW photovoltaic third phase will be operational by 2020. The CSP project forms the project’s fourth phase.

“We have made steady progress in realising the goals of Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 that was launched as part of our objective to transform Dubai into a global clean energy and green economy hub,” said Sheikh Mohammed.

The Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 aims to increase the share of clean energy in Dubai’s total power output to 7 per cent by 2020, 25 per cent by 2030, and 75 per cent by 2050.

“The carbon footprint of Dubai will be the lowest in the world by 2030,” Sheikh Mohammed added.