His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has inaugurated the largest concentrated solar power (CSP) project in the world, within the fourth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai.
The 950-megawatt (MW) fourth phase is the largest investment project that uses three hybrid technologies: 600MW from a parabolic basin complex, 100MW from the CSP tower, and 250MW from photovoltaic solar panels. Built at an investment of AED15.78 billion, using the independent power producer (IPP) model, the project features the tallest solar tower in the world, at 263.126 metres, and the largest thermal energy storage capacity with a capacity of 5,907 megawatt hours (MWh), according to the Guinness World Records.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai said, “The UAE has a clear vision to transform itself into one of the world's most sustainable nations. Our journey towards sustainability is comprehensive, encompassing advanced clean energy projects across diverse renewable sources, and innovative solutions integrated into various spheres of the economy and society. The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is at the heart of Dubai and the UAE’s commitment to create a world-class infrastructure for sustainability and a robust foundation for building an environmentally friendly future. Coming at the culmination of the UAE’s Year of Sustainability, the launch of the fourth phase of the Solar Park is an important milestone in our sustainability journey. Our success in creating the world’s largest concentrated solar project underscores our determination to advance climate action and aligns with the goals of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28), which the UAE is currently hosting. Driven by the objectives of the UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 Strategy, we continue to expand our sustainable energy mix and embrace renewable and alternative energies, shaping not only our nation’s future but also contributing significantly to the global effort to combat climate change. Our dedication to sustainability is a testament to our resolve to contribute to fostering a resilient and prosperous future for all of humanity.”
H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was accompanied by H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance; H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy; H.H. Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Ports and Borders Security Council and a number of ministers, director generals of Dubai government departments and senior officials.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was welcomed by Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA).
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was briefed about the project by Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA). The fourth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which covers an area of 44 square kilometres, uses three hybrid technologies: 600MW from a parabolic basin complex, 100MW from the CSP tower, and 250MW from photovoltaic solar panels. The project features 70,000 heliostats that track the sun’s movement. The Molten Salt Receiver (MSR) on top of the solar power tower is the core and the most important part of the CSP plant. It receives solar radiation and turns it into thermal energy. The MSR contains over 1,000 thin tubes that enable the absorption of sun rays and their transfer to the molten salt within these tubes. This project will provide approximately 320,000 residences with clean and sustainable energy. It will reduce carbon emissions by about 1.6 million tonnes annually, enhancing Dubai’s position as a leading global hub in clean, renewable energy and climate action.
Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer said, “President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has emphasised that the UAE’s commitment to protecting the environment and supporting global action to achieve sustainability is firm, continuous, and effective for the benefit of its people and the service of humanity. Furthermore, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has constantly reiterated the UAE’s determination to be at the forefront of global efforts to create a more sustainable future for all of humanity by taking concrete action to transition to renewable energies. At the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, we follow the vision and directives of the leadership to increase the share of clean and renewable energy sources to achieve the goals of the UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative and the Dubai Net Zero Carbon Emissions Strategy 2050. We have already achieved the interim goals of this strategy in record time.”
Al Tayer explained in his speech at the inauguration that the fourth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park was based on the directives of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to implement this project to be a global landmark that sets higher standards of excellence than similar projects worldwide. He emphasised that this project would not have been possible without His Highness’s support to implement the project according to world-leading benchmarks of efficiency and performance. The project features the tallest CSP tower and the largest single-site thermal energy storage in the world, as well as the lowest cost to produce renewable energy round the clock.
“The vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to enhance the share of clean and renewable energy, have contributed to making Dubai a global hub for the green economy and a global role model in the sustainable transition to clean energy. This has been achieved through pioneering strategies and projects driven by advanced research and development, Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies, digital transformation, and the latest renewable and clean energy technologies. Through the IPP model, DEWA has achieved the lowest global prices, making Dubai a benchmark for solar energy project prices worldwide,” said Al Tayer.
“The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park supports the efforts of the UAE, which has one of the world’s largest investments in clean energy projects, and is currently hosting the UN Climate Change conference, COP28, in Expo City Dubai. This underlines the UAE’s firm commitment to sustainable development and protecting the environment and natural resources for us and for generations to come. The solar park whose current capacity has reached 2,627MW, is the cornerstone to achieve the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 and the Dubai Net Zero Carbon Emissions Strategy 2050 to provide 100 percent of the energy production capacity from clean energy sources by 2050,” added Al Tayer.
Al Tayer commended the efforts of DEWA’s partners in implementing this pioneering project according to the highest international standards and using the most advanced technologies. A consortium led by DEWA and Saudi Arabi’s ACWA Power established Noor Energy 1 as a project company to design, build, and operate the fourth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. DEWA holds a 51 percent stake in the company, ACWA Power holds 25 percent, and the Chinese Silk Road Fund owns 24 percent
“Guided by the leadership and vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai is paving the way for a sustainable future. It is transforming into a global centre for green economy by continuing its efforts to achieve the goals of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050. Inaugurating the world’s largest single-site CSP plant during COP28 demonstrates our commitment to our strategy to increase the use of clean and renewable energy sources. The project is also a significant milestone in DEWA’s success, and we are proud to be a part of it. This is part of our long-term partnership that we began in the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, leading to the opening of the fourth phase we are witnessing today in Noor Energy 1 project,” said Mohammad Abunayyan, Chairman of ACWA Power.
“We are proud of our contribution to achieving the ambitious vision of the leadership in cooperation with our partners in DEWA. Our key role, through the qualitative projects that we operate and manage in UAE, confirms the extent of the efforts, expertise and financial capabilities of our partners in DEWA and the Silk Road Fund. Together, we have been able to set new standards for CSP generation using the latest technological innovations in this project, such as the solar tower technology and parabolic panels that use CSP to produce energy 24 hours a day. Additionally, the plant’s capacity is enhanced with photovoltaic solar panels to produce 950 megawatts. This is the only single-site project in the world that includes all these technologies. It also features the largest solar energy storage capacity in the world,” added Abunayyan.
“Through collaboration and innovation, we pave the way for sustainable energy solutions that push boundaries and drive progress. As we celebrate the opening of Noor Energy 1, we affirm our commitment to a brighter and cleaner future for future generations,” said Zhu Jun, Chairwoman of Silk Road Fund.
“We are honoured to be part of this huge cooperation between DEWA and ACWA Power. Together, we are setting a new standard for innovation and sustainability. This achievement is a milestone in the development of sustainable energy in the region and confirms the commitment to promoting energy solutions. The successful completion of this project is a testament to the dedication and expertise of all partners and sets a commendable precedent for future renewable energy initiatives,” added Zhu Jun.
Three combined technologies
The fourth phase of the Solar Park uses three hybrid technologies to produce clean energy: 600MW from a parabolic basin complex (three units of 200MW each), 100MW from the world’s tallest solar power tower (based on Molten Salt technology), and 250MW from photovoltaic solar panels. The Molten Salt Receiver (MSR) on top of the solar power tower is the core and most important part of the CSP plant. It receives solar radiation and turns it into thermal energy. The MSR contains over 1,000 thin tubes that enable the absorption of sun rays and their transfer to the molten salt within these tubes.