DEWA completes 200 MW phase II of 1 GW Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park


The Dubai Water and Electricity Authority (DEWA)  has announced the completion of construction on phase II of the 1 GW Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.

The huge solar park is being developed in the Dubai Desert under an independent power producer (IPP) model. Phase II, which has a capacity of 200 MW, was built by Saudi Arabian group Acwa Power and Spanish engineering services provider TSK.

The two companies were awarded the contract to build the plant in January 2015. At the time, DEWA said the installation would be operational in April 2017.

DEWA holds a 51% stake in the plant as part of newly formed project company Shuaa Energy 1, with ACWA & TSK holding the remaining 49%. DEWA said that the project's required investment amounted to AED 1.2 billion ($326.7 million).

When DEWA announced the closing of financing for Phase II in July 2015, the company said that U.S. thin film manufacturer First Solar was confirmed as the module supplier for the project. The plant will sell power to the grid at a tariff rate of $0.0585/kWh.

The third phase of the project, which consists of 800 MW solar capacity, is currently being developed by a consortium formed by Masdar, the Abu Dhabi-based developer of renewable energy, Spain-based GranSolar and Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), which is a unit of the Saudi Arabian firm, Abdul Latif Jameel.

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The consortium’'s $0.0299/kWh bid was 18% lower than the $0.0365/kWh bid submitted by JinkoSolar of China, and also drastically undercut the $0.0395/kWh tariff submitted by an Acwa Power/First Solar consortium, as well as two other bids. This tariff was the lowest winning bid agreed globally for solar PV power in the world until the end of February, when the Abu Dhabi Water and Electric Authority (ADWEA) selected Chinese manufacturer JinkoSolar and Japan's Marubeni to build the 1.17 GW Sweihan project. At the time, Jinko confirmed the PPA price of $0.0242/kWh.

Work on phase III began in January. The construction is set to be completed in three stages, with the first 200 MW expected to be operational by the first half of 2018, and then two 300 MW stages will follow in the two years after.

The first phase of the project is a 13 MW PV plant completed by First Solar in late 2013.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park will be the world’s largest single-site solar park based on the Independent Power Producer model (IPP). The capacity targets for the park have been set at 1 GW by 2020, and 5 GW by 2030, with total investment expected to reach $13.6 billion.

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