French energy company Électricité de France (EDF) has secured a consultancy contract for the 250MW Hatta Hydroelectric power project from Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s (DEWA).

This project will be pumped-storage hydroelectric power station at the Hatta Dam and it is considered to be the first of its kind in the Arabian Gulf. The operational life of the project is expected to be between 60 and 80 years.

Under the contract, EDF will carry out design, hydro-geological, environmental, geotechnical and deep excavation studies for the project.

The contract will also include consultancy on deep water tunnel designs, the dam, hydroelectric power station, the tender for material supply, supervision of construction work, site installation, on-site testing and commissioning.

The hydroelectric power station will generate electricity by using the existing water stored in the Hatta Dam, which can store up to 1.7 billion gallons of water in an upper reservoir. It will also utilise an upper reservoir to be built on a mountain, which can store up to 880 million gallons.

During off-peak hours, turbines will pump water from the lower dam to the upper reservoir, which will be built at a height of 300m above the dam level.

To generate electricity during peak-load hours, turbines operated by the speed of waterfall from the upper reservoir will be used.  

 DEWA CEO and managing director Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer said: “The hydroelectric plant costs AED 1.92bn ($520m). It is part of the Hatta Comprehensive Development Plan, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.”

“We are working to achieve the UAE Vision 2021 to make the UAE one of the best countries in the world by 2021, supporting sustainable development, preserving natural resources and achieving economic, social and environmental development, in line with the aspirations of our wise leadership.

Recently, DEWA received, what it calls the lowest international bid of $0.94 per KWh for the 200MW concentrated solar power (CSP) plant, the fourth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.

DEWA stated that it working towards the development of the biggest CSP plant in the world based on an independent power producer (IPP) model. The 200MW plant is expected to be operational by April 2021, with other CSP projects in the pipeline, generating a total of 1,000MW by 2030.

Image: UAE Vice President and Prime Minister, ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and DEWA CEO & managing director Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer at the Hatta Dam. Photo: Courtesy of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority.