Shanghai Electric announced on Tuesday that Trough Unit 1 of the Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) facility of the 950-megawatt (MW) Phase 4 of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park has supplying electricity to the emirate’s power grid.

The 700-megawatt (MW) CSP facility of Phase 4 consists of three 200MW trough units and a 100MW tower unit with molten salt storage.  

“Built on the world-leading tower and leveraging trough solar thermal power generation technologies, the project overcomes the limitation that conventional PV power stations cannot generate electricity at night, making it a demonstration model for the Chinese government's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and efforts to achieve global carbon neutrality,” Shanghai Electric said in a press statement.

The statement said Phase 4 is the largest solar thermal project in the world in terms of installed capacity, investment size, and molten salt reserve heat.

It also includes 250 MW from photovoltaic (PV) solar panels

The CSP highlights in the statement included:

  • The CSP plant utilises roughly 560,000 tonnes of molten salt and 70,000 heliostats each measuring roughly 25 square metres.
  • The solar tower, which rises to a height of 262 metres, is the tallest of its kind in the world.
  • The energy stored in the trough units and the tower unit, once all units are operational, can generate power continuously for a maximum of 13.5 hours at night and 15 hours during periods of inclement weather

In January 2022, Spanish infrastructure company Abengoa had announced that it completed the construction of three solar fields of parabolic trough collectors at the solar park for Shanghai Electric. The company had said the contract involved technology, design, engineering and construction of 6,360 parabolic trough collectors.

The $4.29 billion Phase 4 is being developed by Noor Energy 1, owned 51 per cent by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) while Saudi’s ACWA Power holds 25 per cent and the Chinese Silk Road Fund owns 24 per cent of the project company.

Shanghai Electric was awarded the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) of Phase 4 in April 2018.

In September 2022, the Chinese company had announced that it had completed the B phase of 900MW Phase 4 of the solar park.

(Writing by Senthil Palanisamy; Editing by Anoop Menon)