Dubai to build solar-powered desalination plan


The plant will be able to produce 120m gallons of drinkable water a day by 2024, according to Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) CEO Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer

Dubai will seek partners this year to build its first solar-powered desalination plant as the emirate tries to diversify away from burning fossil fuels to increase its water supply.

DEWA is also developing a reservoir to hold as much as 6bn gallons of water reserves, and the utility currently stores about 700m gallons, Al Tayer said at the World Government Summit in Dubai.

Dubai, which is building facilities to generate 6,000 Megawatts of power, is diversifying away from relying mostly on natural gas to produce electricity by adding solar- and coal-fired plants. Gulf states like the UAE need to desalinate seawater to supply drinking water to their burgeoning populations.

Regional utilities have traditionally linked gas-fired power stations to large desalination plants along coastlines. Utilities are seeking new methods for desalination as they try to reduce power use and improve efficiency.

The solar facility will be able to store energy that it produces, allowing the desalination plant to operate at night. DEWA’s projects are mostly partnerships with private companies, which have contributed 40bn dirhams ($11bn) in financing.

The utility’s generating capacity is 10,927 MW, with desalination capacity of 470m gallons a day.


This edited article was first published in Arabian Business

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