Dubai’s DEWA says 300MW phase of mega solar park will be operational next month

This stage is part of the 800MW third phase of the world’s largest single-site solar park in Dubai

The 300 megawatt (MW) second stage of Dubai’s mega Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park will be operational in late June, the Dubai Water and Electricity Authority (DEWA) has confirmed.

This stage is part of the 800MW third phase of the world’s largest single-site solar park, based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model.

DEWA is building the 800MW phase using photovoltaic technology in three stages, in partnership with a consortium led by Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) and EDF Group, through its subsidiary EDF Énergies Nouvelles.

DEWA established Shuaa Energy 2 with a 60 per cent stake in the company. The Masdar-led consortium owns the remaining 40 per cent of the company. An international consortium led GranSolar and Acciona from Spain and Ghella from Italy are handling the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC).

The first stage, with a capacity of 200MW, became operational in May 2018. It uses over 800,000 self-cleaning solar cells that use robots to maintain efficiency. This stage provides over 60,000 residences with electricity, reducing over 270,000 tonnes of carbon emissions every year.

Construction of the 300MW third stage started earlier this year and will be operational in 2020.

The solar plant is the first of its kind in the MENA region which has a solar tracking system to increase generation efficiency by 20-30 per cent when compared to fixed installations, a statement said.

DEWA recorded a world record in the cost of photovoltaic solar power for this phase, at a Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) of $2.99 cents per kilowatthour using solar panels.

Overall, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park will generate 5,000MW by 2030 with investments of up to Dhs50bn.

The 13MW photovoltaic first phase of the park became operational in 2013. The 200MW photovoltaic second phase of the solar park was launched in March 2017, and the 800MW photovoltaic third phase will be operational by 2020.

The fourth phase of the solar park is the largest single-site solar IPP project in the world and combines CSP and photovoltaic technology. The phase will use hybrid technologies to produce 950MW of clean energy.

DEWA issued a Request for Qualification (RFQ) for developers to build and operate the fifth phase of the solar park with a capacity of 900MW. The phase will use photovoltaic solar panels based on the IPP model and will be commissioned in stages from Q2 2021.