The Hatta pumped storage hydroelectric project being developed at Hatta, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), will be the first of its kind power project in the Arabian Gulf region.

The 250MW project is being developed by the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) with an estimated investment of £319m ($391m).

The project will be designed to use and store water from the existing Hatta dam, which was built in the 1990s, for generating electricity during peak demand periods.

The project was launched as part of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, which envisions three-fourth of the emirate’s total power output from clean energy sources by 2050.

Consultancy contract for the project was awarded in 2017, with the engineering studies completed in July 2018, followed by the award of construction contract in August 2019.

The Hatta pumped storage hydroelectric facility is expected to be commissioned in February 2024.

The project is anticipated to create 2,000 direct and indirect job opportunities in the region.

Hatta pumped storage plant make-up

Designed to run for 80 years, the Hatta hydroelectric facility will consist of a lower and an upper reservoir to store and use the surplus water from the Hatta Dam.

The lower reservoir will be located near the Hatta Dam (also known as the Al Hattawi Dam), approximately 400m above sea level. The lower reservoir will have the capacity to hold approximately 1,716 million gallons (Mgal) of water.

The upper reservoir will be constructed in the shape of a lake in the mountain, approximately 700m above the sea level and 300m above the dam level. The upper reservoir will be capable of storing up to 880Mgal of water. The distance between the two reservoirs will be up to 4km.

During the off-peak hours, water from the lower reservoir will be pumped to the upper reservoir with the help of solar-powered pumps. The solar power required to drive the pumps will be sourced from the Mohammed bin Rashid Maktoum solar park.

During peak-load hours, the stored water will be released to the lower reservoir with the   speed of the waterfall driving the turbines to generate electricity.

The project is designed to achieve 80% power generation and storage cycle efficiency within 90 seconds, in response to the demand for peak electricity.

The electricity generated from the Hatta hydroelectric power station will be fed into the DEWA grid.

Contractors involved

EDF Group, based in France, was awarded the consultancy contract for the project in June 2017.

The scope of the contract included engineering and design studies, as well as hydrogeological, geological, environmental, geotechnical, and deep excavation studies, apart from consultancy services in construction supervision, site installation, on-site testing, and commissioning.

A consortium of Strabag, Andritz Hydro, and Ozkar was awarded the construction contract for the project in August 2019.

Mohammed bin Rashid Maktoum solar park details

Mohammed bin Rashid Maktoum solar park is a 5GW solar project being developed in phases by DEWA.

Located in Seih Al-Dahal, in the southern part of Dubai, the solar project is installed with both photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies.

A 13MW solar farm installed with approximately 152,000 photovoltaic cells was commissioned in phase one in October 2013.

Phase two development comprised a 200MW PV facility commissioned in March 2017, while 800MW is being added to the park in phase three, which is scheduled for completion in  2020.

The 950MW phase four of the project that comprises 200MW of PV and 750MW of CSP development secured financial closure in March 2019, while the tender for the 900MW phase five development of the solar park was launched in June 2019.