The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority recently announced that the second phase of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park has been commissioned.
The 200 megawatts project of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park takes the total capacity of the park to 213 megawatts. The project was allotted to a consortium of ACWA Power and TSK at then-lowest tariff of 5.98¢/kWh.
The project was officially launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The project consists of 2.3 million solar panels supplied by First Solar. The project is spread over 4.5 square kilometres and will generate enough electricity to power 50,000 homes and offset 214,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year.
ACWA Power secured debt financing loan worth $344 million for the project. The 27-year loan will be provided by Abu Dhabi’s First Gulf Bank and 2 Saudi banks — the National Commercial Bank and the Samba Financial Group. Paddy Padmanathan, Chief Executive Officer, ACWA Power had announced at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2015 that the company would secure debt financing at a low interest rate of just 4%.
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. Bids of the first 1 gigawatt of capacity have already been awarded.
Under the recently 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.
Phase III of the solar power park, with capacity of 800 megawatts, was awarded to a consortium of Masdar Group, Fotowatio Renewable Ventures and Gransolar Group. The project was awarded at 2.99¢/kWh. Power purchase agreement for this phase has been signed and construction is underway. The project will likely be commissioned by 2020.
DEWA has also issued a tender for 200 megawatts concentrated solar power capacity which will form phase IV of the solar power park. The project will be awarded in June this year and is expected to be operational by April 2021.