26 September 2021
As part of its efforts to diversify the energy mix and enhance energy storage technologies, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has inaugurated a pilot project for energy storage at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park using Tesla’s lithium-ion battery solution. The project has a power capacity of 1.21 MW and an energy capacity of 8.61 MWh with a life span of up to 10 years.
“Our strategy and work plans are guided by the vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to ensure energy security and sustainability. We have an integrated vision to achieve these directives with three main pillars: The first is to produce more clean energy, especially solar energy, under the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050. The second is to decouple the desalination process from the production of electricity and desalinate water using a combination of clean energy sources and waste heat. The third is disrupting the role of utilities using Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies, such as AI, UAVs, energy storage, blockchain, the Internet of Things (IoT) and many more,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.
“The energy storage project using Tesla’s lithium-ion battery solution at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the largest single-site solar park in the world, aims to diversify the energy mix and enhance energy storage technologies. This supports our efforts to achieve the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, which aims to provide 75% of Dubai’s total power capacity from clean energy sources by 2050 and make Dubai a global hub for clean energy and a green economy. The pilot project will evaluate the technical and economic capabilities of this technology within the operational framework of electricity systems in solar photovoltaic power plants. It also tests the role of this technology in the integration between clean energy and energy storage to achieve maximum efficiency and reliability,” added Al Tayer.
Al Tayer noted that DEWA is implementing other energy storage projects. These include using Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) in the 4th phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which combines CSP and photovoltaic solar panels with a production capacity of 950MW. The project will have the world’s largest global thermal storage capacity of 15 hours, facilitating energy availability round the clock. DEWA is also implementing a 250MW pumped-storage hydroelectric power station in Hatta, the first of its kind in the Arabian Gulf region. It will generate electricity using the water stored at Hatta Dam with a storage capacity of 1,500 MWh. In collaboration with Expo 2020 Dubai and Siemens Energy, DEWA has inaugurated the Green Hydrogen project, the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa to produce green hydrogen using solar power. The project was implemented at the outdoor testing facilities of DEWA’s R&D Centre at the solar park.
Waleed Bin Salman, Executive Vice President of Business Development and Excellence at DEWA, said that the lithium-ion energy storage pilot project is the second battery energy storage pilot project by DEWA at the solar park. The first project was implemented in collaboration with AMPLEX–NGK to install and test a sodium sulphur (NaS) energy solution with a power capacity of 1.2 MW and an energy capacity of 7.5 MWh. This was the first utility-scale energy storage pilot project in the region.
Bin Salman said that both pilot systems allow bi-directional charging (charged from grid and/or solar plant and discharged to grid).