Saudi Arabia–based ACWA Power has added another major project to its solar power portfolio. The new project will be part of the iconic Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and ACWA Power have entered into agreement to set up 250 megawatts of solar PV power capacity under the fourth phase of development of the solar power park. ACWA Power had secured rights to develop 700 megawatts of capacity based on concentrated solar power technologies under phase IV. The new solar PV capacity shall be an extension of phase IV.
The 700 megawatt project was awarded to ACWA Power-Shanghai Electric consortium at 7.3¢/kWh in September 2017. Of the total CSP capacity, 600 megawatts shall be based on parabolic trough technology while 100 megawatts shall be based on solar tower technology. Power generated from the additional 250 megawatt solar PV capacity shall be sold at 2.4¢/kWh.
Construction on the CSP block started in March of this year. The project shall have the world’s tallest solar tower, measuring 260 metres, and shall be equipped with the world’s largest thermal storage capacity of 15 hours. The total cost of the CSP capacity is estimated at $3.87 billion.
ACWA Power has been a major participant in the development of the the Dubai solar power park. The company has secured rights to develop 200 megawatt solar PV capacity in phase II of the park at then-lowest tariff of 5.84¢/kWh. The project was commissioned in March 2017. Spread over 4.5 square kilometres, the project will generate enough electricity to power 50,000 homes and offset 214,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year.
ACWA Power was also a participant in the auction of phase III of the solar park, but narrowly lost the bid to Masdar-Fotowatio Renewable Ventures-Gransolar Group consortium. A total of 800 megawatt solar PV capacity is being developed in this phase.
The solar power park will have an eventual capacity of 5 gigawatts. The initial planned capacity was 1 gigawatt, which was subsequently increased to 3 gigawatts, and now 5 gigawatts. Phase I of 13 megawatts of solar PV, and phase II of 200 megawatts of solar PV capacity is already operational. So far, a total of 1.95 gigawatts of capacity has been bid out.
Under the announced Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 plan, Dubai targets 44% energy from renewable energy sources, 38% from gas, 12% from “clean fuels” and 6% from nuclear energy. Almost $17 billion will be invested to expand the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.
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