Dubai Ruler announces US$3.87bn contract for world’s largest CSP plant

CSP largestVice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum at the announcement ceremony. (Image source: DEWA)Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has announced the largest single-site concentrated solar power (CSP) project in the world, which will be built at a total cost of US$3.87bn

The CSP project, which represents the fourth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, will generate 700MW of clean energy to support Dubai’s electricity grid. The project is considered an integral part of the emirate’s Clean Energy Strategy 2050.

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum highlighted the UAE’s model for sustaining a green economy based on environmental sustainability and clean energy. The UAE has a clear strategy for implementing and further developing this model to maximise its benefits, in addition to investing in infrastructure, building capabilities and developing specialised local talent.

“We have made steady progress in realising the goals of Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 that was launched as part of our objective to transform Dubai into a global clean energy and green economy hub. The carbon footprint of Dubai will be the lowest in the world by 2030,” said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. “We are proud that by demonstrating their capabilities, our local talent have proved that they are ready to assume responsibility,” he added.

His Highness’ remarks came as the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) awarded the contract for the CSP project based on the independent power producer (IPP) model. The contract was awarded to a consortium comprising of Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power and China’s Shanghai Electric. The consortium bid the lowest levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) of US$7.3 cents per kilowatt hour (kW/h). The project will have the world’s tallest solar tower, measuring 260 metres. The power purchase agreement and the financial close are due to be completed shortly.

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, stated, “This achievement greatly boosts our objectives and positions us as one of the leading countries of the world in terms of clean and renewable energy. The Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 aims to increase the share of clean energy in Dubai’s total power output to seven per cent by 2020, 25 per cent by 2030, and 75 per cent by 2050.”

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 2020.

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