EDF announces financial close for phase III of Dubai’s 1 GW solar plant

French energy giant EDF announced it has reached financial close for Phase 3 of the 1 GW Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai.

The company said the funds were provided by seven different lenders: the Union National Bank, the Islamic Development Bank and the Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP), which are both based in the Middle East; France’s financial services provider Naxitis and Germany’s Siemens Financial Services; the Korea Development Bank; and Canada’s export credit agency Export Development Canada (EDC). Financial details of the loan agreement were not disclosed.

The 800 MW project is being developed by a consortium formed by EDF, which joined it in mid-March, Masdar, Spain-based GranSolar and Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), which is a unit of the Saudi Arabian firm, Abdul Latif Jameel.

The first 200 MW unit of Phase III is due for completion by April next year, while another 300 MW is expected to come on stream in April 2019. The final 300 MW unit is scheduled to come online in April 2020.

Work on phase III began in January. The completion of phase II of the 1 GW project was announced by DEWA in March. The first 13 MW phase was finalized by First Solar in late 2013.

The consortium’’s $0.0299/kWh bid for phase III 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.

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.