Project profile: Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, Dubai
The 5,000MW Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is being developed at Seih Al Dahal, near Dubai in the UAE. The project will enhance the renewable power generation capacity and help to meet growing power requirements in Dubai and its surrounding region
Photovoltaic solar plant
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority
The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park spreads over a total area of 77 km2 in Seih Al Dahal, about 50km south of Dubai. The plant was implemented by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), with the first phase commissioned in October 2013.
The total capacity of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park will reach 1,000MW by 2020 and 5,000MW by 2030.
The project involves the construction of a 5,000MW solar energy park, which also includes 1,000MW concentrated solar power (CSP) plant. It includes the construction of powerhouse, substation, centre and 3D-printed laboratory for R&D, the innovation centre and the installation of a transmission line and solar panels.
The project is being implemented by Dubai’s Supreme Council of Energy and will be managed and operated by DEWA.
The project is being developed in multiple phases.
The first phase of the project involved the construction of a 13MW solar PV project.
CSP/PV technologies were appointed to the provide design procurement services, the site supervision, the start-up and the acceptance test for the first phase of the project.
In October 2012, First Solar was awarded the EPC contract for the first phase of the project. Construction works were completed in October 2013.
The second phase of the project involved the construction of a 200MW CSP/PV plant (revised from the earlier 100MW capacity). The government will invest 51% of the total cost for the second phase.
In January 2015, a consortium of ACWA Power, TSK, Lahmeyer International and KPMG were appointed as build-own-operate (BOO) contractor on the project.
This consortium will have 49% stake in the project company, namely Shuaa Energy 1, with the remaining 51% interest held by DEWA.
DEWA has signed a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with a consortium of ACWA Power.
The second phase of the project was inaugurated in March 2017.
The third phase of the project involves the construction of an 800MW solar power plant on 1,600 hectares of land. The project is being developed in three sub-phases, comprising 200MW in phase A and 300MW each under phase B and phase C.
It is being implemented by Shuaa Energy 2 established by DEWA with a 60% stake, and Masdar-led consortium, and EDF, through its subsidiary EDF Energies Nouvelles, who own the remaining 40% in the company.
In October 2015, an engineering consultancy contract was awarded to Stantec for an R&D centre. This contract includes services related to the design and building of a 3D-printing laboratory and research and development centre, developing tenders, assessment of project contractors and on-site supervision during the building process.
In November 2016, DEWA signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Masdar for the third phase with the levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) $29.90 per MWh or $2.99 cents per kWh.
In January 2017, the Masdar-led consortium Gransolar, Acciona and Ghella was appointed as EPC contractor for the third phase and construction activities commenced.
In May 2018, construction works on phase A were completed.
Construction works on phase A have been completed, while the other sub-phases are still underway. Construction works are scheduled for completion on 300MW phase B and 300MW phase C by the second quarter of both 2019 and 2020, respectively.
The fourth phase of the project involves the construction of a 700MW CSP plant of 600MW (3x200MW), a parabolic basin complex in the first stage and the world’s tallest solar tower, at 260m high, in the second phase. The project is being developed under a build-and-operate model for a period of 25 years.
In June 2017, the Shanghai Electric Group (SEG) noted interest in investing $40m in phase four of the project, which is scheduled to start operations by April 2021.
In February 2018, DEWA, Expo 2020 and Siemens signed a memorandum of understanding for a solar-driven hydrogen electrolysis testing facility at the park.
In March 2018, a ground-breaking ceremony was held for the fourth phase and construction works commenced.
Construction activities on the entire solar project are scheduled for completion by 2030.
Cover image credit: Dominic Dudley / Shutterstock.com