Dubai to get low-cost solar power day and night

Solar ParkMohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is located about 50km south of the city of Dubai. (Image source: James Moran/Flickr)An ACWA Power-led consortium has been awarded the fourth phase of the Dubai’s Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which is expected to provide electricity to the emirate throughout the day and night

The solar plant is one of the largest single-site CSP plant in the world. With a capacity of 700MW, the project has set a global record for the lowest levelised cost for renewable base load electricity at US$7.3 cents per kilowatt hour in an IPP tender without the benefit of any subsidy including any carbon credit.

The first phase of the plant is set to be completed by Q4 2020. Covering about 3,750 ha, the plant is expected to feature a combination of a tower and a field of troughs, which will collect heat and store it in molten salt medium to supply electricity on demand at all hours of the day and night.

Commenting on the announcement, Mohammad Abunayyan, chairman of ACWA Power, said, “The confirmation of our 700MW CSP bid at an investment cost of US$3.87bn for the Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Solar Park represents a pivotal moment for the solar industry and the efforts in the region to reach a clean energy future.”

Paddy Padmanathan, president and CEO of ACWA Power, added, “This project aims to decarbonise electricity generation by making available renewable energy at a price that competes with fossil fuel generated electricity without subsidy.”

Thamer Al Sharhan, managing director at ACWA Power, noted, “The new project represents an added economic value for the two sister countries, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.” This is in line with the Saudi vision 2030, which seeks to maximise the Saudi investment base outside the kingdom and Dubai’s goal to transform as a global hub for clean energy and green economy.

According to ACWA Power, the renewable energy plant will save 2.4mn tonnes of CO2 and provide electricity to an equivalent of 568,000 households.

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