The Noor Energy 1 solar project is a 950MW hybrid concentrated solar power (CSP) and photovoltaic (PV) solar power station to be developed as part of the fourth phase development of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, Dubai, UAE.

The $3.9bn ambitious project encompasses 700MW from CSP technologies and 250MW of PV power generation and is the world’s biggest single-site CSP plant.

ACWA Power, a power generation company based in Saudi Arabia, is developing the project in partnership with Shanghai Electric Group Company (SEGC), the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), and Abengoa, a Spanish company.

Expected to be fully operational by the end of 2020, the Noor Energy 1 solar power complex will contribute to the “Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050”, which aims to achieve 75% of Dubai’s power generation from clean energy sources by 2050.

Noor Energy 1 solar power project development details

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) awarded a build-operate-transfer (BOT) contract for the 700MW Noor Energy 1 CSP plant to a consortium of ACWA Power and Shanghai Electric in September 2017.

The contract included a 35-year power purchase agreement, under which DEWA will off-take electricity from the independent power producer (IPP) project at $7.30 cents per KWh, a price competitive with fossil fuel-based power generation.

The ACWA-led consortium (49%) together with DEWA (51%) formed the project company Noor Energy 1 to design, build, and operate the plant, in the same year.

DEWA and ACWA power signed an amendment to increase the plant’s generating capacity to 950MW by adding a 250MW PV facility, in November 2018.

ACWA Power signed a co-operation agreement with ICBC, Shanghai Electric, and Abengoa for the 950MW solar power facility in the same month.

Noor Energy 1 solar complex make-up

The Noor Energy 1 hybrid solar facility will comprise  a solar tower capable of generating 100MW, three sets of parabolic trough arrays of 200MW capacity each, and an array of PV solar panels of 250MW generating capacity.

It will be one of the world’s first energy facilities to use a combination of three different solar power technologies.

The solar tower, standing 260m-high at the center of the plant site, will also be the world’s tallest solar tower.

The Noor Energy 1 solar complex will also possess energy storage capacity for 15 hours and be capable of delivering power 24 hours a day.

Noor Energy 1 partnership and contractor details

ACWA Power, with 24.99% equity stake in Noor Energy 1, will lead the project development.

NOMAC, a subsidiary of ACWA Power, will be responsible for the operation and maintenance solar plant.

Shanghai Electric is the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor, while ICBC is the financial partner for the project.

Abengoa will be the key technology provider for the hybrid solar power facility.

Advisian, a subsidiary of WorleyParsons, was appointed as the owner’s engineer for the Noor Energy 1 power plant, in July 2018.