Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has awarded the fifth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park to an ACWA-Power-led consortium. The award was based on the winning tariff of $1.6953 cents/kWh, which establishes a new global benchmark for solar energy.

ACWA Power, in partnership with Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC), will bring the production capacity of the Solar Park to 2,863 MW. The project will use the latest bifacial photovoltaic solar panels that capture sunlight on both sides of the panel and produce energy with an advanced solar tracking system to increase generation efficiency.

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The 25-year PPA was signed by HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, and Mohammad Abdullah Abunayyan, Chairman of ACWA Power during a virtual signing ceremony.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Solar Park will be the largest single-site solar park in the world based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model. It has a planned production capacity of 5,000 MW and includes investments valued at $13.6bn.

HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer: “The UAE has proved that it has always been proactive and ready for all changes and conditions. The recent developments in the oil industry have proved the importance of the UAE’s track to bid farewell to the last barrel of oil and diversify the energy mix.

“The current operational capacity at the solar park is 1,013 MW from photovoltaic solar panels. We have 1,850 MW under construction from photovoltaic and Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), with future phases to reach 5,000 MW by 2030. This supports our efforts to achieve the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, to provide 75 per cent of Dubai’s total power output from clean energy by 2050.”

The 13MW photovoltaic first phase became operational in 2013. The 200MW photovoltaic second phase of the solar park, developed by ACWA Power, was launched in March 2017. The solar park’s photovoltaic third phase has a capacity of 800MW. Work on the fourth phase 950 MW, CSP and PV hybrid Noor Energy 1 is underway and on track by ACWA Power.

Chairman of ACWA Power, Mohammad Abunayyan, commented on the occasion saying: “The Mohammed Bin Rashid Solar Park is the most ambitious and largest project of its kind worldwide, that aims to reduce the carbon footprint in Dubai and transform Dubai into a global model for clean energy and the sustainable green economy”.

“We are delighted to have been a reliable and trusted partner for DEWA’s ambitious goals. The fifth phase will witness a prosperous collaboration with Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC) and Shanghai Electric which will undoubtedly mark a milestone in the renewable energy sector – not on a regional level only – but on an international scale” Abunayyan added.

DEWA will retain a 60 per cent stake in this latest solar project and be the sole off-taker of power under a 25-year PPA.

The 5th phase of the solar park is expected to be commissioned in phases starting Q3 2021.