Progress made on GCC’s first hydroelectric plant feasibility

Progress made on GCC’s first hydroelectric plant feasibility
Published: 4 October 2017 - 4:21 a.m.
By: Baset Asaba

Engineering studies on the GCC’s first hydroelectric plant that will make use if the water stored in the UAE’s Hatta Dam are progressing, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) has revealed.

This is part of a consultancy contract, which covers all design, hydro-geological, geological, environmental, geotechnical, and deep excavation studies.

It also includes consultancy on deep-water tunnel designs, the upper reservoir and hydroelectric power station, the tender for material supply, supervision of construction work, site installation, on-site testing and commissioning.

Dewa has stated that it had completed 14% of the engineering studies for the Hatta hydroelectric power station

Dewa awarded the $520mn consultancy contract for the pumped-storage hydroelectric power station to France’s EDF.

The project is the first of its kind in the Arabian Gulf, with a total capacity of 250MW, and a lifespan of 60 to 80 years, reported WAM.

"As part of our support for the Comprehensive Development Plan for Hatta, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, we have launched several projects, including the hydroelectric power station, at a cost of AED 1.92 billion," said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.

"The hydroelectric power station will generate electricity by making use of the water in the Hatta Dam, which can store up to 1,716 million gallons, and an upper reservoir that will be built on the mountain that can store up to 880 million gallons. The upper reservoir will be 300 metres above the dam level. During off-peak hours, turbines that use clean and cheap solar energy will pump water from the lower dam to the upper reservoir.

"During peak-load hours, when production costs are high, turbines operated by the speed of waterfall from the upper reservoir will be used to generate electricity and connect it to DEWA's grid. The efficiency of power production will reach 90 percent with a 90-second response to demand for electricity.

"Our reliance on hydropower is part of our drive to achieve the objectives of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, to transform the emirate into a global hub for clean energy and green economy, and to increase the share of the clean energy mix in Dubai to 75 percent by 2050," Al Tayer said.

Hydropower, which is the generation of power by harnessing energy from moving water, is one of the main sources of renewable and clean energy in the world.

"In 2016, hydropower-installed capacity reached 1,064 gigawatts globally, generating 71 percent of all renewable electricity, and 16.4 percent of the world's electricity from all sources," Al Tayer added.

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