Dubai solar park hits 1.8 GW of generating capacity


DEWA has issued another update on the progress of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which has been described as the world's largest single-site solar plant. The utility said this week that it has added 270 MW of solar capacity since August, to bring to 300 MW the volume added this year as part of the fifth phase of what is planned to be a 5 GW site, operational in 2030.

The AED 2.06 billion ($561 million) fifth phase of the site, near Dubai, will be 60% owned by DEWA. ACWA Power will take 20%, while Gulf Investment Corp. – owned by the governments of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates – will hold the balance. With 600 MW of solar panels generating at the site, the remaining 300 MW of the fifth phase of the project are due online next year, according to DEWA.

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The hybrid solar panel-plus-concentrating-solar fourth phase of the project is also incomplete and DEWA offered an update on progress there, too. Some 217 MW of the planned 250 MW of phase-four capacity is now operational, the utility said. To complete the AED 15.8 billion fourth phase of the project, three 200 MW parabolic basins and a 100 MW solar tower will offer 15 hours of thermal storage capacity.

The concentrating solar part of of the fourth phase – which will be owned by DEWA and ACWA Power, plus a 24% stake for the China Silk Road Fund – was originally due to be operational last year. DEWA has not given a date for completion of that stage of the project.

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Earlier in October, the utility extended the deadline for bidders competing to develop the next stage. An Oct. 10 deadline for bids for the 900 MW sixth phase of the site has been extended to Nov. 1.

DEWA said the next phase will start generating from the third quarter of 2025 and will be complete in 2027. It has now announced total investments of AED 50 billion for the project. This week it said the 1.83 GW of operational solar capacity at the site is already supplying 12.1% of Dubai's energy needs and that figure is expected to rise to 14% this year.

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