Construction of the 800 megawatt (MW) phase 3 of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai will start at the end of this month, it was announced on Monday at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.
The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the project has been awarded to an international consortium led by renewable energy contractor GranSolar of Spain, alongside Acciona from Spain and Ghella of Italy.
A Masdar-led consortium won the bid to develop phase 3 last June from the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) after setting a record-low price of $2.99 cents per kilowatt-hour.
The two companies signed a power purchasing agreement in November 2016, under which they formed a joint venture, Shua’a 2, to lead the construction of phase 3.
Construction of the 16 sqkm expansion of the Dubai Solar Park will occur in three stages, a statement said.
The first 200MW stage is expected to be completed by the first half of 2018 and the next 300MW phase is due the following year.
The final 300MW tranche is anticipated to come on-stream in the first half of 2020.
The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is the largest single-site solar park in the world, with a planned capacity of 1,000 MW by 2020 and 5,000 MW by 2030, and a total investment of Dhs50bn ($13.6bn).
It will eventually save approximately 6.5 million tonnes per annum in emissions.
The park will also be connected to the World Expo site, providing it with 200MW of power, according to DEWA.
It will also include an Innovation Centre, which will act as a museum, exhibition and convention centre for solar and renewable energy. It is expected to attract tourists, universities, schools, companies, and partners.
The centre will be open to solar energy manufacturers and developers, and has a specialised and permanent convention centre for events, conferences, training and meetings on green initiatives.
The building covers 4,000 square metres, is 90 metres high, and consists of five floors. It will be built by 2017.
The solar park is part of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, which envisions that clean energy sources will generate 7 per cent of the emirate’s total power output by 2020, 25 per cent by 2030 and 75 per cent by 2050.
Earlier this month, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE’s Vice President and Prime Minister and Dubai’s ruler, also unveiled the UAE Energy Strategy 2050. The plan aims to invest Dhs600bn into clean energy to increase its contribution in the UAE’s total energy mix to 50 per cent by 2050.