Masdar selected by DEWA to lead consortium on 800 MW solar PV project in Dubai

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Masdar, the Abu Dhabi-based developer of renewable energy, will lead a consortium to develop phase three of the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar project, owned by the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA).

In May, DEWA revealed that the lowest bid received for this solar project was $0.0299/kWh, which is the lowest winning bid yet agreed globally for solar PV power. Dubai state news agency WAM would not confirm that the Masdar-led consortium would be developing the 800 MW of solar PV at this record low price, Masdar has since announced that it would be developing the project at this world record low tariff.

The consortium involves GranSolar, of Spain, and Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), which is a unit of the Saudi Arabian firm, Abdul Latif Jameel. On Sunday, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum – VP and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai – signed a memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Masdar chairman Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber and Dewa CEO Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer.

"What we are witnessing here is the UAE’s full steam commitment to meet the COP21 objectives," said Hadi Tahboub, the president of the Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA). "DEWA, under the full support of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid, is breaking down barriers and walls in achieving lower costs, doable financial models, in developing utility-scale solar energy IPPs."

The Sheik Mohammed Bin Rashid solar park is expected to grow to 3 GW once all phases are completed by 2030. At just 2.99 U.S. cents/kWh, phase three is 15% cheaper than the world’s previous lowest benchmark for solar, set in Mexico in April, and marks another step towards diminishingly cheap PV projects at scale in emerging markets.