Construction starts on Dubai’s $3.8bn CSP plant

The world’s largest CSP plant to operate on the IPP model will generate 700MW at a record cost of 7.30 US cents per kWh

ACWA, Concentrated solar power, CSP, DEWA, Dubai, Shanghai electric, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park, News

Construction work has commenced on the world’s largest concentrated solar power (CSP) to operate on the independent power producer (IPP) in Dubai by a consortium between ACWA Power and Shanghai Electric Group Co Ltd.

The $3.87bn plant will be phase 4 of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar power complex, which is planned to reach 1 GW by 2020 and 5 GW by 2030.

The CSP park will consist of a 260-metre (853 ft) tower of 100 MW and parabolic trough CSP, with capacity of 600 MW, and will also have molten salt energy storage.

Commissioning of the facility will begin from the fourth quarter of 2020 onwards, ACWA Power said in a press release.

Once completed, the 700-MW plant will be able to generate enough electricity to meet the demand of over 270,000 residencies in Dubai, offsetting 1.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per year.

Saudi Arabia-based ACWA Power and Shanghai Electric won the tender to build the 700-MW plant in September 2017 with a bid of USD 0.073 (EUR 0.062) per kWh, which they say is the lowest offered levelised cost of electricity globally. The project is implemented under the independent power producer (IPP) model.

The development of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum project will involve a total investment of $13.6bn. The first phase, of 13 MW, was switched on in 2013. Phase 2, with capacity of 200 MW, was brought online in March 2017, while the 800-MW phase 3 will be commissioned by 2020.

"The cost of producing solar power in Dubai is the lowest in the world today," tweeted Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE vice president, prime minister and ruler of Dubai who was chief guest at the ground breaking ceremony.

Sheikh Mohammed added: "Our goal is for 75% of Dubai's energy needs to be met by clean power by 2050, a goal we gladly embrace. Sustainable development is essential for the prosperity of our and future generations."

"We will continue pursuing ambitious investments with an emphasis on projects that have a positive impact on people’s lives. Clean and renewable energy is key to sustainable development and the UAE has set an example for its rapid adoption,” he said.


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