Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park
In January 2012, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. It is the largest single-site solar park in the world. It expands over 77 square kilometres, and will generate 1,000MW by 2020 and 5,000MW by 2030, with total investments worth up to AED 50 billion. Upon completion, the solar park will reduce over 6.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
On 22 October 2013, the 13MW first phase of the solar park became operational. The project contributed to reducing carbon emissions. This was proved and accredited according to the clean development mechanism. The first phase was another important step in achieving Dubai’s objectives to diversify its energy mix. The project uses over 152,000 photocells connected to 13 step-up transformers in inverter buildings. The output voltage is transformed to 33 kilovolts and generates over 28 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. It also decreases carbon emissions by 15,000 tonnes annually.
The 200MW second phase of the solar park. It is the first and largest project of its kind in the region, based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model. It was implemented in partnership with the consortium led by ACWA Power from Saudi Arabia and Spain’s TSK, with an investment of AED 1.2 billion. This phase will generate clean energy for 50,000 residences in Dubai, and will reduce 214,000 tonnes of carbon emissions a year. This phase installed 2.3 million photovoltaic solar panels over 4.5 square kilometres. It incorporated 1.5 million Safe Man Hours without Lost Time Injury.
In June 2016, DEWA announced the Abu Dubai Future Energy Company (Masdar) led consortium as selected bidder for the 800MW third phase of the solar park. The consortium bid the lowest cost of electricity, which will be constructed based on the IPP model. The consortium bid a Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE) of USD2.99 cents per kilowatt (kW). The third phase will be implemented in stages until 2020.
DEWA is also working to build the largest Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project in the world, based on the IPP model. The 200 megawatt first phase of the CSP plant will be operational by April 2021, and DEWA will generate 1,000 megawatts using this technology by 2030. On 4 October 2016, DEWA released a request for the Expression of Interest (EOI) for the CSP project. It received 30 Expressions of Interest (EOI) from international developers by the closing date of 27 October 2016. The Request for Proposals (RFP) was released to qualified bidders on 15 January 2017. The submission date for this tender is May 2017.
DEWA is developing an interactive innovation centre, equipped with the latest technologies in clean and renewable energy, to enhance national energy skills, support business competitiveness, and encourage social awareness about renewable and sustainable energy. The centre’s design features five floors, at a height of 90 metres. The project will be complete by 2017.
The R&D centre
The R&D centre was launched in 2014. It is currently under construction and will be completed by 2020. The R&D centre will focus on four key operations: