Third phase of Dubai's DEWA solar project attracts record low bid of US 2.99 cents/kWh


The Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) has confirmed that it has received a world record-low bid of 2.99$c/kWh for the 800 MW third phase of its 5 GW Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum solar project.

A total of five bids were received on May 1 for the third phase of the DEWA project, but it was the bid by a consortium led by Abdul Latif Jameel of Saudi Arabia, Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) of Spain, and Masdar of the UAE that grabbed the headlines.

The consortium’s 2.99$c/kWh bid is 18% lower than the 3.65$c/kWh bid submitted by JinkoSolar of China, and also drastically undercut the 3.95$c/kWh tariff submitted by an Acwa Power-First Solar consortium.

The two other bids were for 4.382$c/kWh – submitted by U.K./French firm Engie ad Japan’S Marubeni – and 4.482$c/kWh, submitted by a consortium comprised of France’s EDF and Qatar’s Nebras.

All five bids came in below the winning bid in phase two, set at a then-world-record 5.85$c/kWh set by Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power and its partner TSK of Spain. Bids for the third phase were submitted in September last year but by the weekend only five remained in the running for consideration.

DEWA will now review the bids before awarding the construction contracts later this month. Phase A is 200 MW that will be commissioned by April 2018; Phase B will have a capacity of 300 MW to be commissioned by April 2019, and Phase C will also have a capacity of 300 MW to be commissioned by April 2020.

Dubai has set a target of 7% renewable energy penetration by 2020, and currently has 200 MW of solar PV capacity under construction in the Emirate.

The DEWA solar project had an original capacity target of 1 GW, but the authority hopes the park will be 5 GW in size by 2030.

However, as ever with record-low solar bids, some within the industry will express their concerns that such tariffs might prove unrealistic, offering very little in the way of profit for the winning bidders, in this case the Saudi-led consortium.

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