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Dubai's Solar Park closer to reality

Issac John/Dubai
Filed on July 20, 2015
Dubais Solar Park closer to reality
The Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai

(Supplied photo)

Dewa closes financial close for second phase, Dh30b project to generate 1,000MW by 2019

The ambitious target set by Dubai to boost the share of renewable energy mix to seven per cent by 2020 is getting closer to reality with the state utility announcing the financial close for the second phase of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park on Sunday.

The Dh30 billion Solar Park, one of the largest renewable energy projects in the region, has a planned capacity of 1,000MW by 2019, which can be increased up to 3,000MW by 2030. The project has been envisaged to meet the goal set by Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 to enhance solar energy share mix to seven per cent of Dubai's total energy production by 2020 and 15 per cent by 2030.

The 200MW Phase II project is a photovoltaic plant that will be based on the independent power producer model, the state utility, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa), said on Sunday.

To be operational by 2017, the second phase involves the installation of over 2.3 million solar PV panels.

"Today, Dewa adds another milestone in history at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which is one of the largest renewable energy projects in the region. This is in line with the directives of the President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to produce renewable energy locally to sustain our precious resources and support growth of a new promising sector. It also supports the Green Economy for Sustainable Development initiative, launched by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai," said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director and chief executive of Dewa.

Al Tayer said the project is in alignment with the Dubai Plan 2021 to enhance sustainability and create a happy society that meets the aspirations of citizens and residents. Solar Park will produce more than 3,000MW of electricity when completed in 2030. At present the park generates 13MW of electricity.

The Solar Park supports the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 developed by the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy to diversify Dubai's energy mix, he said. Solar energy will eventually account for 15 per cent of the total energy production by 2030.

The project company Shuaa Energy 1 is formed as per UAE law. With Dewa as 51 per cent stakeholder and remaining 49 per cent by the bidder ACWA & TSK, Dewa will work closely with the company to achieve the commercial operation date in April 2017, the utility said in a statement. "Phase II project, which occupies 4.5 square kilometres, will help achieve a reduction of approximate 400,000 tonnes of carbon emissions by 2020, which supports the green initiatives and programmes implemented by the Government of Dubai to reduce carbon emissions. This project will increase the size of solar energy projects in Dubai to 220 MW," the statement said. Dewa said the tender for this project, which will be implemented in partnership with the private sector, is a key step towards achieving the objectives of the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, in which solar-powered electricity is set to become part of Dubai's energy portfolio by increasing the share of renewable energy in the energy mix.

"Dewa will continue to execute these ground-breaking projects in renewable energy and contribute to the growing energy needs of Dubai. A large number of international organisations were interested in this project. The wide participation in the bid reflects the trust and interest of international investors to invest in this vital field, which is supported by the Government of Dubai," said Al Tayer.

- issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com





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