Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has awarded the 900MW photovoltaic fifth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Solar Park to a consortium led by ACWA Power, an international developer and operator of power and water desalination projects in partnership with Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC), a GCC premier principal investor and co-developer in the Gulf. The winning tariff of $1.6953 cents/kWh establishes a new global benchmark for solar energy.
The agreement was signed by Saeed Mohammed Al-Tayer, MD and CEO of DEWA, and Mohammad Abdullah Abunayyan, chairman of ACWA Power, during a virtual signing ceremony.
Al-Tayer said: “At DEWA, we are guided by the vision and directives of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum to make Dubai a global hub for clean energy and green economy. We are building major renewable and clean energy projects. 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 percent of Dubai’s total power output from clean energy by 2050.”
Abunayyan said: “The signing of today’s agreement is a testament to the robust strategic partnership we have established with DEWA, which we are immensely proud of. 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 a sustainable green economy.”
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 when completed with a planned production capacity of 5,000 MW, with investments valued at $13.6 billion. When completed, the solar park will save over 6.5 million tons of carbon emissions annually.
The 900 MW 5th phase with an investment of $570 million, will bring the production capacity of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Solar Park to 2,863 MW. This fifth phase alone is expected to power 270,000 homes and offset carbon emissions amounting to 1.18 million tons per year in Dubai.
“The progress of this project even as the world is severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic is a testament to DEWA’s unwavering commitment to meeting the energy demands of Dubai with an increasing share of renewable energy and reconfirms the confidence of the financial markets in the ability of DEWA and ACWA Power to successfully complete the project and reliably dispatch green electricity for the 25-year duration of the contract,” a statement said.