The consortium, which includes the Spanish companies Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) and Gransolar Group, submitted the lowest generation price of $2.99 cents per kilowatt hour (kW/h) for the park’s third phase.

The authority plans to sign shareholder and power-purchase agreements in fourth quarter of this year.

The 5GW Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park will contribute to the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 which aims to generate 7% of its total power from clean energy sources by 2020. The target is planned to increase to 25% by 2030 and 75% by 2050.

DEWA managing director and CEO Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer said: "This strategy relies on innovation, and Research and Development (R&D) as the basis for the future of energy, preparing the plans and initiatives to make developments in science and technology."

Planned to be developed based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model, the 800MW third phase solar project will feature photovoltaic technology and it is due to become operational by 2020.

Masdar chairman Dr Sultan Al Jaber said: "By using multiple sources of energy such as natural gas, nuclear and solar, we are delivering both baseload generating capacity and the ability to meet peak energy demand efficiently and cost effectively."

"Phase three of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park is a clear signal that solar power is a reliable and commercially-viable technology, and a key part of the UAE’s well-diversified energy strategy."

Scheduled to enter service by 2030, the 5,000MW Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park is estimated to cost $13.6bn.

The 13MW first phase of the solar farm started operations in 2013, while the 200MW second phase is due to come online in 2017.

Image: DEWA selected Masdar-led consortium as bidder for the 800MW III phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. Photo: courtesy of MASDAR.