Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (Dewa) is planning to push ahead with pilot battery photovoltaic (PV) solar projects as the emirate looks at future storage solutions for renewable energy.

Speaking to MEED on the sidelines of the official opening of the emirate’s 200MW PV third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum (MBR) solar park in Dubai, Saeed Mohammed al-Tayer, managing director and CEO of Dewa, said the utility would proceed with “pilot battery storage projects of about 1MW for each project with different manufacturers to see how reliable the cost effectiveness is” of the technology.

After having contracted out more than 1GW of PV solar projects to date, Dewa is pushing ahead with concentrated solar power (CSP) for its next major scheme at the MBR solar park. The utility has invited prequalified bidders to submit proposals by 15 May for its planned 200MW CSP project, which will be developed using the independent power project (IPP) model.

In September 2016, Dewa awarded the advisory services contract for its latest solar power scheme to a consortium led by KMPG of the Netherlands.

KPMG will be the financial adviser, and will be supported by the UK’s Mott MacDonald as technical adviser and Ashurst, also of the UK, as legal adviser.

Dewa is pushing ahead with a CSP programme to enable storage of solar energy produced, so it can provide electricity to the grid after daylight hours. Dubai is planning to develop 1GW of CSP by 2030 as part of the target for 25 per cent of its total power to come from renewable energy by this date.

While the more expensive CSP will enable storage for the next few years, the real game-changer for the region’s solar market will be when battery storage solutions for PV have been developed to a cost-effective level that makes them attractive to utilities and the private sector.

While Dewa seeks to move ahead with pilot schemes, Jordan has stated developers can submit plans for schemes with battery storage for the third round of its renewables programme.