DEWA issues tender for fifth 900 MW phase of 5 GW solar park

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The Dubai Water and Electricity Authority (DEWA) has launched a tender for the fifth phase of the huge Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.

The utility said it has already received letters of intent for the tender from 64 companies, which participated in a request for qualification process that started in late February, after the utility issued a specific tender for IPP advisory services in May of last year.

DEWA has specified that the winning bidder will own 40% of the company operating the project, while it will hold the remaining 60%. The selected project, which will have a capacity of 900 MW, will be awarded a 25-year PPA. “The fifth phase of the solar park will be commissioned in stages starting from Q2 2021,” DEWA said in an online statement.

Middle East’s largest PV project

Only two sections of the 5 GW park are currently operational: the first phase, with just 13 MW, and the 200 MW second phase. An 800 MW PV array and a 200 MW concentrating solar power (CSP) plant are also under construction at the site. Phase I was developed by U.S. thin-film module maker First Solar in late 2013 and phase II was constructed by Saudi group ACWA Power and Spanish engineering services provider TSK.

French energy gian EDF began work on the 800 MW PV section of Phase III in 2017, with a 200 MW section coming online in May 2018. This part of the project will sell power to DEWA at a rate of $0.029/kWh.

Phase IV, which was originally meant to be a 700 MW of CSP plant, but was later expanded with 250 MW of PV capacity, is being developed by ACWA. The PV portion of that phase will sell power for $0.024/kWh. For the CSP section, ACWA and DEWA have agreed on a rate of $0.073/kWh.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which is also set to include large-scale storage and hydrogen facilities, is scheduled for final completion by 2030.