The fourth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park – Noor Energy 1 – has become the first project in the Gulf Co-operation Council region to receive the Climate Bonds Initiative’s (CBI) certification for renewable energy project financing, supporting the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050.
The flagship project is a collaboration between the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Saudi renewables developer ACWA Power and the Chinese government’s Silk Road Fund.
Noor Energy 1 is the largest single-site concentrated solar power (CSP) and single hybrid solar power project in the world, with three different solar energy technologies in deployment. The technologies include a CSP central tower and parabolic trough and PV panels. The park is being developed on an independent power producer (IPP) model.
CBI is a reputable international non-profit organization working towards mobilizing and facilitating climate change solutions through the $100 trillion bond market and “green loans”. The initiative promotes investment in projects and assets which are necessary for a rapid transition to a low-carbon and climate resilient economy and which have strong credibility in the international financing market. The climate certification scheme is used globally by bond issuers, governments, investors and the financial markets to highlight investments that have real impact on a low carbon economy. The certification issuance was facilitated by lender Natixis, one of the project’s backers, as coordinator; and Sustainalytics, which verified the certification process.
The certification was granted to DEWA managing director and CEO Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer in the presence of Mohammad Abunayyan, chairman of ACWA Power.
Al Tayer said: “The CBI certification reflects the hard work and incredible progress that Noor Energy 1 has achieved over the years. It bolsters our constant pursuit in deploying the highest international standards and using the latest solar power technologies to transform Dubai into a hub of clean energy and the leading driver of [a] low carbon economy. Our overarching achievements will remain in a constant journey of growth to support the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, to enhance the shift towards a green economy by increasing our reliance on clean and renewable energy sources. We are honored to collaborate with ACWA Power and [the] Silk Road Fund on a remarkable project that will permanently leave its enduring effect on the solar power projects.”
ACWA’s Abunayyan said: “The CBI accreditation corroborates the potential of Noor Energy 1 and ACWA Power in transforming the green financing landscape and driving down the cost of capital for climate projects in developed and emerging markets. We are pleased to maintain our reputation as a partner of choice, delivering projects that contribute to the growth and development of vibrant economies such as Dubai. It is an honor to help fulfill the ambitious vision of Dubai’s leadership alongside our partners [the] Dubai Electricity and Water Authority. With the collective knowledge, financial capabilities and market expertise of DEWA and [the] Silk Road Fund, we were able to break several world records through a single project, including the world’s lowest CSP levelised cost of electricity of US$7.3 cents per kilowatt-hour.”
With 20% progress already achieved by Noor Energy 1, the flagship project is set to generate 950 MW with an investment of AED15.78 billion ($4.3 billion). The deployment of 700 MW of CSP; 600 MW from a parabolic basin complex and 100 MW from a solar central tower; and 250 MW from PV panels has positioned the fourth phase as the largest single-site solar IPP investment project in the world that combines CSP and PV technology.
Noor Energy 1 was also successful in breaking a number of world records, including registering the world’s tallest, 260m solar tower and the world’s largest global thermal storage capacity, of 15 hours; allowing for energy availability round the clock. This phase will provide clean energy for 320,000 residences.
The latest construction developments include the completion of the foundation of molten salt tanks and turbines and inauguration of the parabolic trough production line to produce the first of 63,600 units for the parabolic trough component and the solar central tower, reaching beyond 50m.