DEWA signs Power Purchase Agreement for 900MW 5th phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park

Published: 29 April 2020 - 10:41 a.m.
By: Baset Asaba

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has signed a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the 5th phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park with a capacity of 900 megawatts (MW). This phase will use photovoltaic solar panels, and will be commissioned in stages starting from the third quarter of 2021. This supports DEWA’s efforts to achieve the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to provide 75% of Dubai’s total power output from clean energy by 2050.

The PPA was signed by Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, and Mohammad Abunayyan, Chairman of ACWA Power, via video conferencing. This shows the sustainability and continuity of business amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In November 2019, DEWA announced the consortium led by ACWA Power and Gulf Investment Corporation the Preferred Bidder to build and operate the fifth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. DEWA achieved a world record by receiving the lowest bid of USD 1.6953 cents per kilowatt hour (kW/h) for this phase. DEWA received 60 Requests for Qualification (RFQ) from international developers for this project.

To implement the project, DEWA established Shuaa Energy 3 in partnership with the consortium led by ACWA Power and Gulf Investment Corporation. DEWA owns 60% of the company, and the consortium owns the remaining 40%.

The project will use the latest Solar photovoltaic bifacial technologies, which allows solar radiation to reach the front and back of the panels, with single-axis tracking to increase generation.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is the largest single-site strategic renewable energy project in the world. Using the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model, it will have a capacity of 5,000 MW by 2030 with investments of up to AED 50 billion. The solar park’s projects will accelerate the shift towards solar power.

“First, I extend my best wishes to you all on the start of the Holy Month of Ramadan. I wish you all a month full of blessings. To achieve the vision and directives of the wise leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE; His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to invest in clean and renewable energy project, we sign the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), using conference-calling, with the consortium led by ACWA Power and Gulf Investment Corporation. This is to implement the 5th phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. This pioneering national landmark is the largest single-site solar park in the world,” said 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. At DEWA, we are guided by the vision and directives of His Highness 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 1,013MW from photovoltaic solar panels. We have 1,850MW under construction from photovoltaic and Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), with future phases to reach 5,000MW by 2030. This supports our efforts to achieve the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, to provide 75% of Dubai’s total power output from clean energy by 2050,” added Al Tayer.

“The 900MW fifth phase of the Solar Park using the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model adds to our successful solar power and clean energy projects that use the best global technologies to generate electricity from clean energy sources. The fifth phase will be implemented by Shuaa Energy 3, established by DEWA and the consortium led by ACWA Power and Gulf Investment Corporation. DEWA received the lowest global bid of USD 1.6953 cents per kilowatt hour for this project, which will use the latest solar photovoltaic bifacial technologies, with Single Axis Tracking to increase generation. We promise to continue implementing clean and renewable energy projects, guided by the vision and directives of our wise leadership to enhance the UAE’s pioneering position in all sectors,” added Al Tayer.

“The signing of today’s agreement is a testament of the robust strategic partnership we have established with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, which we are immensely proud of. The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is the most ambitious and largest project of its kind worldwide that aims to reducing carbon footprint in Dubai and transforming Dubai into a global model in the clean energy and sustainable green economy,” said Abunayyan.

Abunayyan highlighted the success of the fifth phase of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in achieving the lowest solar tariff globally and stressed ACWA Power’s keenness to commence the implementation of the project in accordance with the highest technical and operations standards. “The delivery of the project reinforces the durability and competitiveness of Dubai’s economic landscape under the wise leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, which continues its steady and pioneering plans despite the current circumstances, and reconfirms the confidence and attractiveness of the investment environment that Dubai spearheads internationally”.

“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” added Abunayyan.

The 13MW first phase became operational in 2013, using photovoltaic solar panels. The 200MW photovoltaic 2nd phase of the solar park was commissioned in March 2017. The 3rd photovoltaic phase has a capacity of 800MW. The 4th phase of the solar park is the largest single-site CSP project in the world based on the IPP model, with investments of AED15.78 billion. The fourth phase of the solar park will use three technologies to produce 950MW of clean energy: 600MW from a parabolic basin complex, 100MW from a solar power tower, and 250MW from photovoltaic panels. The solar power tower will be the tallest in the world at 260 metres, and will have the largest thermal storage capacity of 15 hours; generating power around the clock.

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