Solar park 3rd phase starts generating clean energy

Mohammad opens Phase 3 first stage which will generate 200MW to power 60,000 homes

Dubai: Another phase of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park began generating 200 megawatts of clean energy on Monday — enough to power 60,000 homes annually.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, inaugurated the completed first stage of the third phase of the world’s largest single-site solar park off Al Qudra in Dubai.

Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, and a number of ministers and directors-general of Dubai government departments were also present during the inauguration.

Due to the size of the solar park, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) has divided its construction into four phases. The first and second phases, which produce 13MW and 200MW respectively, are already generating clean power.

The 800MW third phase is divided into three stages and is being developed by a consortium led by the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) with EDF Group, through its subsidiary EDF Énergies Nouvelles.

The first stage was inaugurated on Monday while the second and third stages, which have a capacity of 300MW each, will be completed in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of Dewa, said the solar park contributes to realising the vision of the leadership to prepare the UAE for a post-oil era.

“Today marks the commissioning of the first stage of the third phase of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. This phase is a key milestone and shows our strong belief in the role of clean energy in shaping a sustainable future. This supports the UAE’s efforts to strengthen its leading global position in clean energy through such major projects,” Al Tayer said.

The Phase 3 of the solar park set a world record for obtaining the lowest Levelised Cost of Energy of $2.99 per kilowatt-hour (Dh10.98), using photovoltaic solar panels.

Tariff rates for customers in the city are unaffected, however.

When complete, Phase 3 will generate electricity enough to power 160,000 homes that will displace 1.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year, figures from Masdar show.

“The total capacity of the photovoltaic and Concentrated Solar Power IPP–based projects is 1,500MW. After the inauguration of this leading milestone, solar power will now generate 4 per cent of Dubai’s total installed capacity,” Al Tayer said.

The solar plant is the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa, with an advanced solar tracking system to increase generation efficiency. It also uses unique technologies including over 800,000 self-cleaning solar cells that maintain a high-performance level.

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and chairman of Masdar, said the new development further strengthens the energy security of the country by building on the foundation of its hydrocarbon sector to create a diverse mix including conventional energy, renewables and nuclear energy.

“Masdar and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority have played an active role in enhancing the cost efficiency and productivity of renewable energy by deploying the latest advances in technology,” said Dr Al Jaber.

“Solar power complements conventional energy in a relationship that makes perfect economic sense in this region, given the number of clear sunny days in the year, by helping to reduce energy costs through peak saving.”

In Numbers:

Phase 3: Capacity of 800MW

Inaugurated on April 30

1st Stage of Phase 3: 200MW capacity

Can power 60,000 homes

Can bring savings of 270,000 tonnes of carbon emissions every year

Completed with over 2.4 million accident-free man hours

2nd Stage: 300MW capacity, due in 2019

3rd Stage: 300MW capacity, due in 2020

Other Phases

Phase 1: 13MW capacity

Operational since October 22, 2013

Saves 15,000 tonnes of carbon emissions

Phase 2: 200MW capacity

Operational since March 20, 2017

Can power 50,000 homes

Reduces 214,000 tonnes of carbon emissions

Phase 4: Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Project with 700MW capacity

Broke ground on March 19, 2018

Expected to generate power by the end of 2020 and provide clean energy to 270,000 homes

Will help reduce 1.4 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually

Total planned production capacity of MBR Solar Park: 5,000MW by 2030

It is expected to generate 1,000MW by 2020

Total investments: Dh50 billion

Total carbon emission savings: 6.5 million tonnes annually

Total size of the park: 85 square kilometres

Dubai’s total installed capacity: 10,200MW

Share of solar power as of May 2018: 413MW or 4%

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