The 900 MW fifth phase of 5 GW solar park moves forward in Dubai


The Dubai Water and Electricity Authority (DEWA) has signed a 25-year power purchase agreement with Saudi Arabia's ACWA Power for the fifth phase of the massive Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.

ACWA Power said that the 900 MW project will use bifacial solar panels and will require a total investment of approximately $570 million. It won a tender for the massive PV project in November with a bid of $0.016953/kWh.

DEWA initially received proposals from 64 bidders. The huge solar project is expected to begin commercial operations in the second quarter of 2021.

ACWA Power will own 40% of the company operating the project, while DEWA will hold the remaining 60%. DEWA said in November that the fifth phase of the solar park will be commissioned in stages from the second quarter of 2021.

Massive project

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About 1,013 MW of the 5 GW solar park is currently operational. The first 13 MW phase was followed by a 200 MW second phase and a third phase with 800 MW of solar capacity. U.S. thin-film module maker First Solar developed the first phase in late 2013, while the second phase of the massive PV plant was constructed by ACWA Power and Spanish engineering services provider TSK.

French energy giant EDF began work on the third 800 MW phase in 2017. This section of the project will sell power to DEWA at a rate of $0.029/kWh.

The fourth phase, which was originally meant to feature 700 MW of concentrated solar power capacity (CSP), but was later expanded with 250 MW of PV capacity, is being developed by ACWA Power. The PV portion of the fourth phase will sell electricity for $0.024/kWh. For the CSP section, ACWA and DEWA have agreed on a rate of $0.073/kWh.

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

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