HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has announced that the share of clean energy in Dubai’s energy mix has increased to around 9%. This exceeds the target set in the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, which aimed to provide 7% of Dubai’s total power output from clean energy sources by 2020 and 75% by 2050.

Al Tayer said that DEWA’s total installed capacity is 11,700MW of electricity. This includes 1,013MW from photovoltaic solar panels at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the largest solar park in the world. He also noted that the total capacity of the projects under construction at the solar park is 1,850MW from photovoltaic and Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), with future phases to reach 5,000MW by 2030.

“Our strategies and work plans are inspired by the vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to shift towards a sustainable green economy and make Dubai the city with the lowest carbon footprint in the world by 2050. The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is one of DEWA’s prominent projects to achieve this vision. Since its launch, the solar park’s projects have received considerable interest from global developers, which reflects the confidence of investors from around the world in DEWA’s major projects,” said Al Tayer.

“We recently signed the power purchase agreement for the 900MW 5th phase of the solar park with a consortium led by ACWA Power and Gulf Investment Corporation. The total investments of the project exceed AED 2 billion. The project achieved a new record by receiving the lowest international bid of USD 1.6953 cents per kilowatt hour using photovoltaic solar panels based on the Independent Power Producer model,” added Al Tayer.

The 13MW first phase of the solar park became operational in 2013 using photovoltaic solar panels. It contributes to reducing over 15,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually. The 200MW photovoltaic 2nd phase was commissioned in 2017. It provides clean energy to 50,000 residences in Dubai and reduces 214,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually. The third phase has a capacity of 800MW, and is the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa to use an advanced single-axis solar tracking system to increase energy production.

The 4th phase of the solar park is the world’s largest single-site investment project that combines CSP and photovoltaic technology with a capacity of 950MW using IPP model. It will use 700MW of CSP; 600MW from a parabolic basin complex and 100MW from a solar tower; and 250MW from photovoltaic solar panels. The project will feature the tallest solar tower in the world at 260 metres. It will also have the biggest global thermal storage capacity of 15 hours; allowing for energy availability around the clock.

The fifth phase will have a capacity of 900MW using photovoltaic solar panels, to provide clean energy to 270,000 residences in Dubai. This will reduce 1.18 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually. The project will use the latest solar photovoltaic bifacial technologies, with Single Axis Tracking to increase energy production. It will be commissioned in stages starting from Q3 of 2021.