DEWA closes second round financing on 200 MW Dubai solar plant

The Dubai Water and Electricity Authority (DEWA) has closed a second round of financing on a 200 MW solar PV plant being built in Dubai.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is being constructed across a 4.5 square kilometer area in the Dubai desert, and is slated to begin commercial operation in April 2017.

DEWA is to be 51% stakeholder of the plant as part of newly formed project company Shuaa Energy 1, with Saudi Arabia-based bidder ACWA & TSK holding the remaining 49%.

This particular plant is part of a wider DEWA-backed plan to invest $3.3 billion in solar energy development in the sheikhdom, forming part of the United Arab Emirates’ wider goal of installing 3 GW of solar PV capacity by 2030.

The project is being built under an independent power producer (IPP) model, with a PPA signed back in March. "The tender for this project, which will be implemented in partnership with the private sector, is a key step towards achieving the objectives of the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, in which solar-powered electricity is set to become part of Dubai’s energy portfolio," said DEWA CEO Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer.

"A large number of international organizations were interested in this project," he added. "The wide participation in the bid reflects the trust and interest of international investors to invest in this vital field, which is supported by the government of Dubai."

Further details of the financing for this second round were not forthcoming. U.S. thin film manufacturer First Solar has been confirmed as the module supplier for the projects, which is expected to deliver some of the cheapest solar energy in the world at a tariff rate of $0.0585/kWh.