The third phase of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai has achieved financial closure marking a major milestone for one of the largest solar power projects and solar power parks in the world.
Construction at the 800 megawatt project being developed by the Masdar Group and EDF Energies Nouvelles began in January 2017 and is expected to be operational in 2020. Debt funding for the project came from seven different financial institutions, including the Islamic Development Bank and the Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation, Korea Development Bank and Export Development Canada.
The presence of these funding institutions points towards very low interest rate. A low interest rate is exactly what the project developers require as it is also among the cheapest solar power projects in the world.
The phase III tender set a record for lowest-ever solar PV tariff globally at that time. The Masdar-led consortium beat the phase II winning bid of 5.84¢/kWh with a bid of 2.99¢/kWh. Masdar Group and DEWA signed the power purchase agreement for the project in November 2016.
Recently, Canadian Solar shipped 268 megawatts of solar modules for the project. The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park has an operational capacity of 213 megawatts from the first two phases commissioned by First Solar and ACWA Power.
The solar power park will be the mainstay of Dubai’s clean energy policy.
The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar 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.