Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum broke ground on the 700MW fourth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the biggest Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project in the world. The start of the new project advances the UAE’s global leadership in the use of clean and renewable energy.
His Highness said that developing the UAE’s infrastructure is top priority for the leadership and vital to raising the country’s global competitiveness. The UAE is developing a new model for sustainability and innovation and is keen to find creative solutions based on international best practices and benchmarks. The country is a pioneer in transforming its energy sector to one based on solar power and clean energy, His Highness added.
“We will continue pursuing ambitious investments with an emphasis on projects that have a positive impact on people’s lives. Clean and renewable energy is key to sustainable development and the UAE has set an example for its rapid adoption,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
“We have developed a sustainable infrastructure that will serve new generations. This infrastructure has been built by young Emiratis who will lead our country through the next phase of growth. We are proud of our nation’s advancements in clean energy and green economy. The country is reaping the fruits today of the strong planning that we initiated years ago,” His Highness further said.
HH Sheikh Mohammed was accompanied at the ground-breaking ceremony by Deputy Ruler of Dubai HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Dubai Supreme Council of Energy HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, apart from ministers, and director generals and senior officials of Dubai Government departments.
This CSP project, based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model, will generate 700MW of clean energy at a single site. The project, which features the world’s tallest solar tower measuring 260 metres and the world’s largest thermal energy storage capacity, will provide clean energy to over 270,000 residences in Dubai, reducing 1.4 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year. The CSP project will use two technologies for the production of clean energy: the 600MW parabolic basin complex and the 100MW solar tower over a total area of 43 square kilometres. This project, which features an investment of AED14.2 billion, has achieved the world’s lowest Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE) of USD 7.3 cents per kilowatt hour (kW/h). This is a new global achievement for the UAE.
HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) said: “I would like to extend my thanks and gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum for honouring us with his presence today on the occasion of this important milestone in our progress towards sustainability. This pioneering Emirati landmark has become a global model based on a vision. It anticipates the future of a nation that sees sustainability as a life-long approach, and a basis for its progress and pioneering achievements for generations to come. President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has affirmed his commitment to continuing efforts to conserve the environment and enhance the sustainability of our natural resources. This continues the legacy of our nation’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who once observed, “Our environment and the resources within it are not ours. They are simply on loan to us, and in our charge. It is the responsibility of us all to care for them, and pass them on unharmed to future generations.”
“Today’s achievement supports HH Sheikh Mohammed’s directives to expedite the pace of clean and renewable energy projects, in order to secure a happy future and enhance the quality of life for our future generations in an economy that doesn’t rely on oil, realising the dream of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, which has already become a reality. This will also achieve the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, which His Highness launched, to provide 75% of Dubai's total power output from clean sources by 2050, and the UAE Centennial 2071, to raise the UAE’s status as the best country in the world,” Al Tayer added.
“We are guided by HH Sheikh Mohammed’s resolve and vision to achieve the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to transform Dubai into a global hub for clean energy and green economy; establishing the Emirate as the city with the lowest carbon footprint in the world. Achieving these ambitious targets will require more than 42,000 MW of clean and renewable energy by 2050. This project is one of the most important projects that will contribute to these needs. It has a planned capacity of 5,000MW by 2030, with a total of AED 50 billion in investments, to accelerate the transformation towards solar power,” Al Tayer further said.
On this occasion, I would like to thank our partners in the consortium comprising Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power and the Silk Road Fund, in collaboration with China’s Shanghai Electric as the main contractor, for their efforts and contributions in achieving our ambition to harness the sun,” added Al Tayer.
“The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is a global landmark and an important milestone on the road to sustainability that will also promote the happiness of the UAE’s citizens, residents, visitors and people from around the world,” concluded Al Tayer.
"We were honoured by the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who has spearheaded the commencement of a landmark moment in the continuous development of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) technology - both globally and in Dubai – by laying the foundation in what will become the largest single-site CSP project in the world, with a generational capacity of 700 megawatts, and an investment of AED 14.2 billion. At ACWA Power we are proud of our role in obtaining the lowest price globally for the second phase of the solar park, Shuaa Energy 1 in Dubai. Today we are driving price reduction for Concentrated Solar Power projects globally, achieving more than just one unprecedented world record, by constructing the world's tallest 260-meter solar tower and providing the highest storage capacity of 15 hours throughout the day,” said HE Mohammad Abu Nayyan, Chairman of ACWA Power.
“On behalf of Shanghai Electric, I would like to express warm congratulations on the groundbreaking of this project and gratitude to those who have been dedicating to making contributions in pushing forward the project. This project is by far the largest and most advanced concentrated solar power project co-developed by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority and ACWA Power, implemented by Shanghai Electric as EPC contractor,” said Cao Min, President of Shanghai Electric. “It’s universally acknowledged that Dubai is a dynamic and charming metropolis and Shanghai Electric is privileged and proud to witness its boom and prosperity. We’ve sensed the trust from the client and turn it into momentum to cater to whatever the client requires us with strong sense of responsibility,” added Min.
The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is the largest single-site solar park in the world, based on the IPP model. It will generate 1,000MW by 2020 and 5,000MW by 2030. The 13MW photovoltaic first phase became operational in 2013. The 200MW photovoltaic second phase of the solar park was launched in March 2017. The 800MW photovoltaic third phase will be operational by 2020, and the first stage of the 700MW CSP fourth phase will be commissioned in Q4 of 2020.