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.
The fourth phase of the solar park is the largest single-site solar IPP project in the world that combines CSP and photovoltaic technology. The phase will use three technologies to produce 950 megawatts (MW) of clean energy at an investment of AED 15.78 billion. It will use 700MW of CSP; 600MW from a parabolic basin complex and 100MW from a solar tower; and 250MW from photovoltaic solar panels. The project will use 70,000 heliostats, and the largest global thermal storage capacity of 15 hours; allowing for energy availability round the clock.