Construction of giant Dubai solar park ‘ahead of schedule’

Construction of phase four of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai is ahead of schedule.

The fourth phase is the largest single-site concentrated solar power (CSP) project in the world and will generate 950 megawatts at an investment of AED15.8bn ($4.3bn).

During a visit by Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) to the construction site, it was revealed that construction is 7% ahead of schedule.

Al Tayer was briefed about the construction progress by Abdul Hamid Al Muhaidib, executive managing director of Noor Energy 1, a joint venture between DEWA, Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power, and China’s Silk Road Fund.

The fourth phase includes a solar tower which will be the world’s tallest CSP tower at 260 metres.

Al Muhaidib said 73% of the construction of the solar tower has been completed, including the completion of the main structure and installation of heliostats.

The project will use 70,000 heliostats and the largest global thermal storage capacity of 15 hours, allowing for energy availability round the clock.

The phase, which will provide clean energy for 320,000 residences and will reduce 1.6m tonnes of carbon emissions annually, is spread across an area of 44 square kilometres.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park will generate a total of 5,000MW by 2030 with investments of up to AED50b ($13.6bn).

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 200MW first stage of the 800MW photovoltaic third phase became operational in May 2018. The third phase will be completed in 2020.

DEWA has issued a request for qualification for developers to build and operate the fifth phase with a capacity of 900MW which will be commissioned in stages starting from Q2 2021.

This edited article first appeared in Arabian Business.