Dubai’s DEWA gets record low bid to build solar-power plant

The contractor bid 1.7 cents per kilowatt-hour for the photovoltaic plant at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park



Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) selected a contractor that submitted a “record” low bid to build a 900-megawatt solar-power plant in the emirate, CEO Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer said.

The contractor, which Al Tayer declined to identify, bid 1.7 cents per kilowatt-hour for the photovoltaic plant. The decision requires a lengthy evaluation before DEWA can publicly announce the winner, he said Sunday in an interview.

The bid “is the lowest price worldwide,” Al Tayer said. DEWA required offers of less than 2.4 cents per kilowatt-hour. The plant will be the fifth phase of a sprawling facility in the desert outside Dubai — the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which will have 5 gigawatts of installed capacity by 2030 if DEWA completes it as planned.

The United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai is the financial hub, had 594 megawatts of installed solar capacity at the end of 2018 — more than any other country in the Gulf region, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.

Dubai is on track to produce 7 per cent of its electricity from solar power by 2020 and targets meeting 75 per cent of its needs from solar and other renewables by 2050, according to the UAE’s clean energy strategy.

DEWA awarded a contract for the Dubai solar park’s fourth phase in 2017. ACWA Power International and Shanghai Electric Group Co. submitted the lowest offer for that phase, at 7.3 cents per kilowatt-hour.