The latest 800 MW of the 5 GW solar field to go live takes Dubai past its 2020 clean energy target of 7% by ensuring 9% of the emirate’s power comes from clean sources, according to the Dubai Water and Electricity Authority.
UAE prime minister and vice president Sheikh Mohammed visited the site to open the third phase and take its operational capacity to 1,013 MW. The ruler of Dubai also had a tour of the fourth phase of the site, which is under construction and involves 700 MW of concentrating solar power generation capacity plus 250 MW of conventional photovoltaic panels.
The opening of the third phase of the giant park at Saih Al-Dahal, south of Dubai, means the emirate now obtains 9% of its electricity from clean energy sources, exceeding the emirati target of attaining 7% this year en route to a hoped-for 75%-clean-energy mix in Dubai by mid century.
The latest slice of operational capacity at a solar park which is set to stretch to 5 GW by 2030 has been under construction by French energy firm EDF since 2017 and is being jointly developed by DEWA and the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company.
The source of numerous world record-low solar energy prices, the huge development has been described as the world’s largest single-site solar park with DEWA labelling the phase currently being built the world’s largest single-site investment project and adding, it will feature the world’s tallest solar power tower, at 262.44m.
Phase three of the project was developed at a cost of AED3.47 billion ($945 million), according to DEWA, and Phase IV, which is expected to start coming online from the third quarter of next year, has a price tag of AED15.78 billion.
In September, Saudi utility ACWA Power – which already holds the tender for Phase IV – announced it had closed financing for the 900 MW fifth phase of the solar park for $564 million. pv magazine reported in February last year the fifth phase of the solar field would be commissioned by the end of June 2021.
The AED50 billion ($13.6 billion), 5 GW mega project is intended to help the UAE towards its target of sourcing half its energy from clean sources by mid century.