Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Abu Dubai’s Masdar for the 800MW third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.
Earlier this year, DEWA announced the Masdar-led consortium as the selected bidder for the third phase of the solar park.
The consortium, which includes Spanish companies Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) and Gransolar Group, bid the lowest cost of electricity at $2.99 per kilowatt-hour.
The third phase of the solar park is slated to be operational by 2020, to coincide with the World Expo 2020 in Dubai, DEWA said in a statement.
“This agreement demonstrates the competitiveness of solar as a commercially-viable clean energy source for electricity generation,” said UAE Minister of State and chairman of Masdar, Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber.
The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which operates using the Independent Power Producer model, is slated to become the largest single-site solar park in the world, with a planned capacity of 5,000MW by 2030.
Launched at Seih Al Dahal in early 2012, the first phase was completed the next year, and is producing 13MW.
In November 2015, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched the 200MW second phase of the solar park, planned to be operational by 2017.
DEWA also launched a Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project within the park, based on the IPP model, with a planned capacity of 1,000MW by 2030. When operational it will be the largest CSP project in the world.
The solar park also includes a Creativity and Innovation Centre that will feature renewable and clean technologies to support the overall regional advancement of the industry.
The Research and Development Centre will conduct studies for industrial and social requirements, scientific research, link researchers, academics and developers, and devise strategies for innovative and productive ideas. It has two testing facilities, one for photovoltaic solar testing and the other for CSP.
The centre is currently testing 30 modules of photovoltaic panels from global specialist manufacturers to check the properties, analyse the results, and use them in research and development, the statement said. It collaborates with international organisations on soiling and dust mitigation on photovoltaic equipment.
The tests are currently being performed to set a baseline for the development of specifications, tests and standards for photovoltaic equipment.
The overall solar park is part of plans to achieve the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, which plans to diversify the energy mix so clean energy will generate 7 per cent of Dubai’s total power output by 2020, 25 per cent by 2030 and 75 per cent by 2050.