Construction work on the 950 MW fourth phase of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (MBR) Solar Park, the largest single-site solar park in the world is now 90 per cent complete.

The overall status of construction of this phase was revealed during a visit by Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Managing and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) to the solar park which will have planned total capacity of 5,000 MW by 2030.

The fourth phase is the largest single-site project that combines concentrated solar power (CSP) and photovoltaic technology using the IPP model and is being developed using the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model with investments up to AED15.78 billion ($4.29 billion).

A consortium led by Dewa and Acwa Power formed a project company, Noor Energy 1, to design, build, and operate the fourth phase of the solar park. Dewa owns 51 per cent of the company while Acwa Power holds 25 per cent, and the Chinese Silk Road Fund owns 24 per cent.

The fourth phase uses three hybrid technologies to produce clean energy: 600MW from a parabolic basin complex (three units of 200 MW each), 100 MW from the world’s tallest solar power tower at 262.44 m (based on Molten Salt technology), and 250 MW from photovoltaic solar panels. On its completion, the project will have the largest thermal storage capacity in the world of 15 hours, allowing for energy availability round the clock. This h phase will provide clean energy for around 320,000 residences and reduce 1.6 million tonnes of carbon emissions every year.

Al Tayer was also briefed by Shuaa Energy 3 officials on the progress made in the second and third stages of the 900MW fifth phase of the solar park which is being implemented with investments totalling AED 2.058 billion. The second and third stages are 93.3 per cent and 23.06 per cent complete respectively.

The fifth phase will be developed by Shuaa Energy 3, which was established by Dewa (60 per cent) along with the consortium led by Acwa Power and Gulf Investment Corporation which is development this phase using the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model.

The fifth phase is being implemented using the latest solar photovoltaic bifacial technologies, which allows solar radiation to reach the front and back of the panels, with single-axis tracking to increase generation. Using fully automated robots to clean the solar panels without any human intervention, will increase efficiency.

The fifth phase will provide clean energy to over 270,000 residences in Dubai and will reduce 1.18 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually. It will be commissioned in stages until 2023.

The solar park’s projects constitute one of the key pillars of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 and the Dubai Net Zero Carbon Emissions Strategy to provide 100 per cent of Dubai’s total power capacity from clean energy sources by 2050.

The current capacity at the solar park is 1,627 MW using solar photovoltaic panels. Dewa is implementing additional projects with a total capacity of 1,233 MW using solar photovoltaic and CSP.

Dewa’s installed capacity has reached 14,117 MW of electricity. Clean energy share in Dubai’s energy mix has reached 11.5 per cent and is expected to reach 14 per cent by the end of 2022.

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