Dubai moves ahead with 800MW solar project

05 April 2015

Third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum solar park would be the world’s largest single solar project

  • 800MW third phase will be the largest single phase solar project in the world
  • Dewa has invited firms to submit bids for advisory contract
  • The main developer contract is expected to be issued in July-August

The Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (Dewa) has invited firms to submit bids for an advisory services contract for the 800MW third phase of its Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum solar park in Dubai.

Like the first two phases, the 800MW third phase will use photovoltaic (PV) solar technology. The third phase will be developed as an independent power project (IPP). If developed as planned in one phase, it would be the largest single PV solar scheme in the world.

Companies have until 3 May to submit proposals for the advisory contract. According to sources close to the project, Dewa is expected to issue tenders in July-August this year.  

On 29 March, Dewa signed the 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power for the planned 200MW second phase of the solar park. Spain’s TSK is also participating in the consortium.

Acwa submitted a world-record low bid to develop the project, of 5.85 cents a kilowatt hour (kWh) in November. They were selected as preferred bidder in January 2015. Banks are expected to finance most of the project, which will cost an estimated AED1.2bn ($327m) to build. Dewa has a 51 per cent equity stake in the project and the developer will take 49 per cent.

For the second phase of the solar park, Dewa appointed Netherland’s KPMG as financial adviser and the UK’s London Norton Rose Fulbright as legal adviser in March 2014.

MEED reported in February 2015 that Dewa had increased the planned capacity of the Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum solar park by 2030 to 2,600MW, from the previous 1,000MW target.

The increase will account for the vast majority of the new 15 per cent renewables target by 2030, which was revealed by Saeed Mohammed al-Tayer, the CEO of Dewa, at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi in January.

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