HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has inaugurated the 900 megawatt (MW) fifth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the largest single-site solar park in the world with a planned capacity of 5,000 MW by 2030.
Involving a total investment of AED50 billion ($13.6 billion), based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model, the solar park is expected to reduce 6.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually when fully completed, reported Wam.
The fifth phase will provide clean energy to around 270,000 residences in Dubai, reducing 1.18 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually.
The AED2 billion project, implemented based on IPP model, features a partnership between Dewa (60%) and a consortium led by Acwa Power and Gulf Investment Corporation (40%) through Shuaa Energy 3.
Dewa achieved a world record by receiving the lowest bid of $1.6953 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) for the fifth phase.
The Dubai utility has implemented this phase using the latest solar photovoltaic bifacial technologies with Single Axis Tracking to increase energy production and the plant’s efficiency, it stated.
Speaking at the launch, Sheikh Mohammed said: "The UAE is at the forefront of global efforts to create a more sustainable future for all of humanity by taking concrete action to transition to renewable energies and combat climate change. In 2023, the UAE’s Year of Sustainability, and the year in which we are hosting COP28, we continue to place sustainability at the heart of our development plans and make new strides in shaping a truly environmentally friendly economy."
"The completion of the fifth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park takes us another major step closer to realising our vision for an economy fully powered by clean energy," he added.
Sheikh Mohammed was later briefed by Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, the Managing Director and CEO of Dewa, on the phases of the Solar Park and the technologies used in the project.
The total capacity of the solar energy projects commissioned at the solar park has reached 2,427MW from photovoltaic solar panels and Concentrated Solar Power (CSP).
The total capacity of the projects under construction at the solar park is 433MW from CSP. DEWA has increased the share of clean energy in Dubai’s energy mix to about 16.3% of its total installed capacity, which has reached 14,917 MW, it added.
"We have made rapid progress in achieving the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 and the Dubai Net Zero Carbon Emissions Strategy to provide 100% of Dubai’s total power capacity from clean energy sources by 2050," remarked Al Tayer.
"To achieve these goals, we are implementing several projects at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. We promise His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to continue our development projects to achieve his ambitious vision for this national project, which adds to the UAE’s success in moving steadily towards a sustainable future for current and future generations," he added.
Mohammad Abunayyan, the Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Acwa Power, said: "Today, we are delighted to celebrate yet another milestone with our long-standing partner Dewa as we inaugurate the fifth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park ahead of schedule alongside our partners Gulf Investment Corporation and the EPC contractor Shanghai Electric."
"Our objective for Shuaa Energy 3 has been to achieve the highest technical and operational standards every step of the way, setting the record for the lowest solar tariff globally in 2020 and deploying advanced technologies such as bifacial solar panels and automatic cleaning robots," he added.
Acwa Power, he stated, had worked on previous phases of the Al Maktoum Solar Park. The 200MW photovoltaic second phase developed by Acwa Power was launched in March 2017.
Meanwhile, a consortium led by Dewa and Acwa Power formed a project company, Noor Energy 1, to design, build and operate the 950MW fourth phase, reported Wam.
Gulf Investment Corporation CEO Ibrahim AlQadhi said: "We are delighted to co-develop renewable energy and infrastructure projects in the UAE. The fifth phase of the Solar Park, based on the (IPP) model, is considered to be a pioneering project as it uses state of the art clean power generation solutions that contribute to the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050."
It is also one of the first projects in the Middle East to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) as part of an advanced robotic cleaning system for the operation and maintenance of photovoltaic panels, stated AlQadhi.
The total area of the fifth phase is approximately 10 sq km, which is half of the total area of the 800MW third phase, he added.