A 13 megawatt (MW) photovoltaic (PV) power plant, marking the first phase of Dubai’s Dhs12 billion Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, has gone live, it was announced on Tuesday.
The facility is now the largest operating solar PV plant in the region.
The plant was connected to the emirate’s electricity grid 195 days after breaking ground in March 2013. Spread across an area of 238,764 square meters, it is designed to operate for over 25 years.
Developed by First Solar, the plant will generate approximately 24 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year.
The electricity generated by the plant is expected to displace around 15,000 metric tons of CO2 annually, equivalent to removing about 2,000 cars from the road every year, First Solar said in a statement.
“This plant represents an important step in the implementation of the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 to diversify Dubai’s energy mix, said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, vice chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy.
“For the first time, we are harnessing the sun to power growth and prosperity in the emirate, which is a significant achievement,” he added.
Jim Hughes, First Solar’s CEO, said: “Solar PV, with its price and operational efficiencies, is the right fit for the Middle East’s energy generation needs.”
Dubai’s massive Solar Park is expected to eventually cover 40 square kilometers and produce 1,000MW of clean energy for the national grid using both PV and solar thermal technology.
The emirate is actively seeking to diversify its energy sources, and by 2030, aims to generate five per cent of total power output from solar energy and 24 per cent from nuclear and clean coal sources.