Construction work on 950MW 4th phase of MBR Solar Park now 90% complete

Work on 5th phase of solar park also progressing well with 2nd project 93.3% completed

Construction work on the 950MW fourth phase of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (MBR) Solar Park – the largest single-site solar park in the world – is now 90% complete, it has been announced.

In a statement, Dubai Water and Electricity Authority (DEWA) said that HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO, inspected work progress at the project, where he was briefed by Noor Energy 1 officials. The 4th phase uses the IPP model with investments up to US$4.29 billion.

It is the largest single-site project that combines Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) and photovoltaic technology using the IPP model. The overall construction of the project is 90% complete, officials said.

A consortium led by DEWA and ACWA Power formed a project company, Noor Energy 1, to design, build, and operate the 4th phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. DEWA owns 51% of the company while ACWA Power holds 25%, and the Chinese Silk Road Fund owns 24%.

The 4th phase of the Solar Park uses three hybrid technologies to produce clean energy: 600MW from a parabolic basin complex (three units of 200MW each), 100MW from the world’s tallest solar power tower at 262.44 metres (based on Molten Salt technology), and 250MW from photovoltaic solar panels.

On its completion, the project will have the largest thermal storage capacity in the world of 15 hours, allowing for energy availability round the clock. The 4th phase will provide clean energy for around 320,000 residences and reduce 1.6 million tonnes of carbon emissions every year.

Al Tayer also visited the 5th phase of the solar park, where he was briefed by Shuaa Energy 3 officials, on the progress made in the 2nd and 3rd projects of the 5th phase. DEWA is implementing the 5th phase in partnership with a consortium led by ACWA Power and Gulf Investment Corporation using the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model.

In 2019 DEWA achieved a world record by receiving the lowest bid of USD1.6953 cents per kilowatt hour (Levelised Cost of Energy) for this phase.  The fifth phase will be implemented by Shuaa Energy 3, established by DEWA which owns 60% of the shares and the consortium led by ACWA Power and Gulf Investment Corporation which owns 40% of the rest of the shares.

Work in the 900MW 5th phase with investments totalling $560.3 million is progressing as planned. The 2nd project is 93.3% complete while the 3rd project is 23.06% complete.

The 5th phase is being implemented using the latest solar photovoltaic bifacial technologies, which allows solar radiation to reach the front and back of the panels, with single axis tracking to increase generation. Using fully automated robots to clean the solar panels without any human intervention, will increase efficiency.

Since its commercial operations last year, the 1st project whose production capacity has increased from 300MW to 330MW, has been recording higher-than-expected performance.

The fifth phase will provide clean energy to over 270,000 residences in Dubai and will reduce 1.18 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually. It will be commissioned in stages until 2023.

The Solar Park’s projects constitute one of the key pillars of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 and the Dubai Net Zero Carbon Emissions Strategy to provide 100% of Dubai’s total power capacity from clean energy sources by 2050.

The current capacity at the Solar Park is 1,627MW using solar photovoltaic panels. DEWA is implementing more projects with a total capacity of 1,233MW using solar photovoltaic and CSP.

DEWA’s installed capacity has reached 14,117 MW of electricity. Clean energy share in Dubai’s energy mix has reached 11.5% and is expected to reach 14% by the end of 2022.

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