Utility scale solar PV tariff hits new low at $0.024/kWh as Dubai adds 250MW of PV to CSP project

Dubai's DEWA amends plan to add further 250MW of photovoltaic solar panels to the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park

DEWA, ACWA Power, Pv solar, Mohammed bin rashid al maktoum solar park, Mbr, CSP

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has announced plans to expand the fourth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar (MBR) Park.

The state utilty said it has signed an amendment to the power purchase agreement with the consortium led by Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power which includes adding 250MW of photovoltaic solar panels, at a cost of 2.4 US cents per kilowatt hour.

This price equals the lowest price ever recorded for a large-scale solar project in the Emirates – $0.0242/kWh – which was offered in March 2017 by the joint venture of JinkoSolar and Marubeni for a 1.17 GW solar project in Abu Dhabi.

The previous lowest price in Dubai was that of Phase III of the MBR solar park, which is planned to have a capacity of 800MW and is currently being developed by a consortium formed by Masdar, the Abu Dhabi-based developer of renewable energy, Spain-based GranSolar and Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), which is a unit of the Saudi Arabian firm, Abdul Latif Jameel.

In May 2016, the consortium offered a tariff of $0.029/kWh, at the time the world’s lowest solar bid ever recorded.

With this addition, the total capacity of the fourth phase of the MBR solar park will rise from 700MW to 950MW, a statement said, adding that the total investment for the project has increased to AED16 billion ($4.36 billion).

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, said: “The capacity expansion of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park’s further consolidates the UAE’s leadership in the field of sustainable development and provides another impetus to our clean energy strategy.

“The UAE’s leaders accord this sector high priority in their vision for the nation’s future... We see this project being a unique model for large clean energy projects elsewhere in the world. This ambitious initiative also adds a new facet to our cooperation with two of our strongest partners, Saudi Arabia and China,” he added.

Noor Energy 1 was launched in a partnership between DEWA, ACWA Power and China’s Silk Road Fund to build the fourth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.

The project will use three technologies to produce clean energy - 600MW from a parabolic basin complex, 100MW from a solar tower and 250MW from photovoltaic panels.

The project will have the world’s tallest solar tower at 260 metres, and the largest thermal energy storage capacity in the world of 15 hours, which allows for energy generation round the clock.

The 13MW photovoltaic first phase became operational in 2013. The 200MW photovoltaic second phase of the solar park was launched in March 2017 while the 800MW photovoltaic third phase will be operational by 2020.


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