The 13MW first phase became operational on 22 October 2013, and the project contributed to a major reduction of carbon emissions in adherence with the Clean Development Mechanism. The implementation of the first phase was an important step in achieving Dubai’s objectives to diversify energy resources. The first phase is built up of about 153,000 photovoltaic cells, connected to 13 transformers in inverter buildings. The output is transformed to 33 kilovolts (kV), and generates 28 million kWh of electricity annually. The first phase contributes to an annual reduction of about 15,000 tonnes of carbon emissions. The surface area of the project covers 280,000 square metres.
On 20 March 2017, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum inaugurated the 200MW second phase of the solar park. It is the largest and first project of its kind in the region’s solar energy sector, based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model. The project was implemented through a partnership with the consortium led by ACWA Power from Saudi Arabia, and TSK from Spain, with an investment of AED 1.2 billion. The project provides clean energy to 50,000 residences in the Emirate, reducing 214,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually. This phase installed 2.3 million photovoltaic solar panels over an area of 4.5 square kilometres.
The efforts of Shuaa Energy 1, which was established by DEWA and the consortium led by ACWA Power and TSK, have been vital in completing the work efficiently and professionally, with 1.5 million Safe Man Hours without Lost Time Injury.
In June 2016, DEWA announced that the consortium led by Masdar was selected to build the 800MW third phase of the solar park. DEWA recorded a world record of USD 2.99 cents per kW/h for the IPP bid.
The 200MW first stage of the third phase became operational on 1 May 2018. The second and third stages will become operational in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
On 19 March 2018, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum broke ground for the largest investment Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project in the world. The AED14.2 billion project will produce 700MW. It is being implemented by comprising Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power, the Silk Road Fund and China’s Shanghai Electric. The consortium bid the lowest Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE) of USD 7.3 cents per kW/h. The project will feature the world’s tallest solar tower, at 260 metres and will be commissioned in stages, starting from Q4 of 2020.