Phase V of Dubai solar park to take shape before Phase IV


A project update from Dubai's vast Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, yesterday confirmed the fifth phase of the planned 5 GW project is behind schedule.

However, progress is not as tardy as might have been presumed, according to utility Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), which said the first slice of the 900 MW fifth phase will be commissioned next month. pv magazine had reported, in February 2019, the fifth phase would be commissioned before July.

Confusingly, the first sections of generation capacity planned in the fourth phase of the solar field are not due to take shape until September.

Power mix

A statement published on the DEWA website yesterday, said the emirati power company expects to commission 300 MW of solar and 300 MW of concentrating solar power (CSP) generation capacity this year. If achieved, that would mean 10% of Dubai's power generation mix would be comprised of clean power capacity next month, rising to 12% by the end of the year. The park has had 1,013 MW of capacity online since its third phase was completed in November.

The authority said 300 MW of conventional solar generation capacity would come online in July as part of stage one of the fifth phase, under development by Saudi energy company ACWA Power, which said it had closed financing of $564 million for the facility in September and for which it has agreed to accept a world record low price for solar of $0.016953 per kilowatt-hour generated.

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That first section of the 900 MW fifth phase of the project will be followed, in September, by 100 MW of CSP generation capacity with the construction of what DEWA is calling “the world's tallest CSP tower, at 262.44m.” Once the tower is commissioned, the utility added, a further 200 MW of CSP generation capacity would be installed – in the form of the parabolic trough associated with the tower – “by the end of the year.”

The cost of the 950 MW fourth phase of the solar field appears to have potentially risen, from the AED15.8 billion ($4.3 billion) previously reported, to “up to AED16 billion,” according to DEWA.

The huge complex is intended to reach a final 5 GW of generation capacity this decade.

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