Saeed Al Tayer visits Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park to follow up with project implementation

HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), visited the Mohammed bin Rashid Solar Park, in Seih Al-Dahal, Dubai. The Park’s ongoing projects support the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to provide 7% of Dubai’s total power output from clean energy sources by 2020, 25% by 2030, and 75% by 2050.

Senior DEWA officials accompanying Al Tayer included Abdul Hamid Al Muhaidib, CEO of Shuaa Energy, Thamer Al Sharhan, Board Member of Shuaa Energy, Nasser Lootah, Executive Vice President of Generation; Abdullah Obaidullah, Executive Vice President of Water & Civil; Hussain Lootah, Executive Vice President of Transmission Power; Waleed Salman, Executive Vice President of Strategy & Business Development; Marwan Bin Haidar, Executive Vice President of Innovation and the Future; Khalil Sabt, Vice President of Production Planning, and Jamal Shaheen Al Hammadi, Vice President of Special Projects, in addition to a number of DEWA officials.

During the visit, Al Tayer followed up with the implementation process to ensure that projects are completed as per their expected date. At the beginning of the visit, Al Tayer followed up with the progress of the second phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which holds a capacity of 200 megawatts (MW).

The second phase is based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model and will be operational by April 2017. Al Tayer was briefed by officials from Shuaa Energy 1, about the progress made in construction. DEWA has set a new world record by obtaining the lowest price globally, at USD 5.6 cents per kilowatt (kW), for the second phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. The project is worth AED 1.2 billion. Al Tayer emphasised the importance of meeting the deadline. Last June, DEWA announced the Masdar-led consortium as the selected bidder for the 800 MW third phase park, which will be constructed based on the IPP model, to be operational by 2020.  The consortium bid a Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE), of USD $2.99 cents per kW, a new world record.

Al Tayer also visited the water desalination unit at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park to check its progress. The desalination plant is powered by a photovoltaic (PV) array, and uses reverse osmosis technology to produce 50 cubic metres of drinking water a day. The project supports DEWA’s R&D efforts, to provide high-quality drinking water. DEWA cooperates with other international organisations to conduct research on water desalination using solar energy. The project also supports DEWA and the UAE Water Foundation (Suqia)’s efforts to supply clean drinking water, for drought affected countries. Al Tayer also followed up with the progress made on the Innovation Centre, which will act as a museum, exhibition and convention centre for solar and renewable energy.

The proposed 4,000 square metres building will have four floors and be ready by 2017. Al Tayer was briefed about the latest developments on the main AED 275 million 400/132kV substation, which has a conversion capacity of 1,515 megavolt amperes (MVA). Swiss company ABB was the main contractor on the 400 kV substation, which is 88% complete and is expected to be ready next month in September 2016. Representatives from ABB highlighted the on-site construction works at the substation, which is divided into four sections. The first includes a 400kV substation with 11 gas-insulated switchgears (GIS). The second section converts from 400 kV to 132kV with a conversion capacity of 1,515 MVA.

It includes three 400/132 kV interconnecting transformers. The third section has 21 GIS and the fourth section houses the control and safety facilities. ABB is cooperating with a number of companies, including Energo and Comodor, to finish the project by next month. 

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is operated and managed by DEWA and will be the largest single-site solar park in the world. The 13MW first phase became operational in October 2013, while the 200MW second phase will be operational in April 2017. It will produce 1,000MW by 2020 and 5,000MW by 2030. When completed, the project will achieve a reduction of approximately 6.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually.

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