The third phase of the massive Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai is progressing on track to be fully complete by 2020, according to the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA).
The announcement comes after DEWA managing director and CEO Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer conducted a field visit to the site.
The 800MW third phase of the park is being developed by Shuaa Energy 2 – a joint venture established between DEWA (with a 60 per cent stake) and a Masdar-led consortium which also includes Electricite de France (EDF)’s subsidiary EDF Energies Nouvelles (with a 40 per cent stake).
The consortium managed to close the financing for the third phase in June with seven different institutions, with the project becoming the largest in the Middle East to receive Sharia-compliant financing.
An international consortium led by Spanish renewable energy contractor GranSolar from Spain won the contract for engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) early this year, and so far 22 per cent progress has been made on the project, DEWA said.
The third phase will be completed in three stages over 16 square kilometres. The first 200MW stage is expected to be operational in the first half of 2018.
The 300MW second stage will be operational in 2019, and the third 300MW stage will be completed in the first half of 2020.
Al Tayer stressed the need to “maintain the highest standards of security, health and safety, and to adhere to the project’s contractual schedule”.
The overall project is the largest single-site solar park in the world, based on the IPP model, with a planned capacity of 1,000MW by 2020 and 5,000MW by 2030, and a total investment of Dhs50bn ($13.6bn).
The 200MW second phase was inaugurated by the UAE’s Vice President and Prime Minister and Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in March.
When completed, it is expected to save approximately 6.5 million tonnes per annum in emissions, according to DEWA.
The park will also be connected to the World Expo site, and provide it with 400MW of power.
The solar park project is part of plans to achieve the targets of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, which aims to provide 7 per cent of Dubai’s energy from clean sources by 2020, 25 per cent by 2030, and 75 per cent by 2050.