Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park
The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is 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 by 2030, with investments totalling AED 50 billion. When completed, it will save over 6.5 million tons of carbon emissions annually.
The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park contributed to DEWA winning the Best Sustainable Project of the Year in the UAE at the 2014 MEED Quality Awards. This is the first time this award was given to a renewable energy project in the Middle East and North Africa.
DEWA is anticipating and shaping the future of energy using innovative disruptive technologies in the production, transmission, and distribution of electricity and water. This will transform Dubai into a global centre for clean energy and green economy.
The Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 and the Dubai Net Zero Emissions Strategy 2050 aim to provide 100% of the energy production capacity from clean energy sources by 2050.To achieve this, DEWA is developing the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in phases, to eventually generate 5,000MW from photovoltaic and Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) technologies.
A History of the Solar Park
On 22 October 2013, the 13MW 1st phase of the solar park became operational. The project uses 152,000 photovoltaic cells connected to 13 step-up transformers in inverter buildings. The output voltage is transformed to 33 kilovolts and generates over 28 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. It decreases carbon emissions by 15,000 tonnes annually.
On 20 March 2017, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum inaugurated the 200MW second phase of the solar park. It is the first and largest project of its kind in the region, based on the IPP model. It was implemented in partnership with the consortium led by ACWA Power from Saudi Arabia (main developer) and Spain’s TSK (main contractor), with an investment of AED 1.2 billion. The efforts of Shuaa Energy 1, which was established by DEWA and the consortium led by ACWA Power and TSK, have been vital in completing the work efficiently and professionally, with 1.5 million Safe Man Hours without Lost Time Injury. The second phase generates clean energy for 50,000 residences in Dubai and reduces 214,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year. This phase installed 2.3 million photovoltaic solar panels over 4.5 square kilometres. DEWA set a world record, obtaining the lowest price globally for the second phase of the solar park, at USD 5.6 cents per kilowatt hour at the time of the bid.
The 800MW third phase of the solar park using photovoltaic solar panels became fully operational in 2020. In June 2016, DEWA announced the Abu Dubai Future Energy Company (Masdar) led consortium as selected bidder for the 800MW third phase of the solar park using photovoltaic solar panels. The consortium bid the lowest cost of electricity of USD 2.99 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), to be constructed based on the IPP model. This phase is the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa, with an advanced solar tracking system that increases generation by 20%-30%, compared to fixed installations, this project has 3 million modules with advanced photovoltaic technologies The third phase generates clean energy for over 240,000 residences in Dubai and reduces around 1.055 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year.
The 4th Phase of the solar park, with a capacity of 950 MW and investments amounting to AED 15.78 billion according to the IPP model, is the largest single-site project in the world that combines Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) and photovoltaic technologies. A consortium led by DEWA and ACWA Power formed a project company, Noor Energy 1, to design, build, and operate the plant. DEWA owns 51% of the company, while ACWA Power holds 25%, and the Silk Road Fund owns 24%. PPA Signed for 35 years. This Phase will use three hybrid technologies: 600MW from a parabolic basin complex (three units of 200MW each), 100MW from the world’s tallest solar power tower at 262.44 metres (based on Molten Salt technology), and 250MW from photovoltaic solar panels. On its completion, the project will have the largest thermal storage capacity in the world of 15 hours. The 4th Phase will provide clean energy for around 320,000 residences and reduce 1.6 million tonnes of carbon emissions yearly.
The 900MW 5th Phase of the solar park using photovoltaic panels became fully operational in June 2023. The fifth phase of the project will provide clean energy to around 270,000 residences in Dubai. The AED2 billion project, implemented based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model, features a partnership between DEWA (60%) and a consortium led by ACWA Power and Gulf Investment Corporation (40%) through Shuaa Energy 3. DEWA achieved a world record by receiving the lowest bid of $1.6953 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) for the fifth phase.
The total capacity of the sixth Phase is 1800MW using photovoltaic solar panels, based on the Independent Power Project (IPP) model. The sixth Phase will reduce around 2.36 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually and provide clean energy to 540,000 residences in Dubai. Through phase VI, DEWA has achieved the lowest Levelised Cost OF Energy (LCOE) of USD1.6215 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). The 6th phase will become operational in stages between 2024 and 2026.