Dubai mega solar project to be finished in 2027 and could be scaled back


A budget update issued by the utility developing the mammoth solar park taking shape in Dubai has brought forward the completion date by three years and hints heavily at a scaling back of its generation capacity.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park reached 1,627 MW of generation capacity in July and is supposed to have a total 5 GW by 2030.

However, a budget update issued by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) last week indicated the utility has set aside only around AED 12 billion ($3.27 billion) “to complete the independent power producer (IPP) projects in the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park” – plus two other infrastructure sites – “in the next five years.”

If accurate, that would mean completion of the vast solar field midway through 2027.

The cost estimates would also indicate 5 GW of photovoltaic and concentrating solar power (CSP) generation capacity would be unlikely by that stage.

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Dewa has previously indicated a total budget of AED 50 billion for the huge project. pv magazine has tracked announced expenditure of AED 22.7 billion for phases two to five of the project, the last two of which are still under construction.

While there would have been additional investment for the modest, 13 MW first phase of the solar park completed in 2013, a final bill of AED 50 billion would mean around AED 27.3 billion still being anticipated, less the first-phase costs. The fact Dewa will split AED 12 billion between the solar field and two other projects – to complete all three – would imply a scaling back of ambition.

The fourth and fifth phases of the Dubai field were in July said to anticipate a further 1,233 MW of solar and CSP capacity, including a solar tower and parabolic trough which have been the subject of delays.

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