UAE-based utilities provider Utico has invited companies to prequalify for the project to develop a 40MW solar independent power project (IPP) in the emirate of Ras al-Khamiah.

The proposed solar plant will be developed under the IPP model and plans to use photovoltaic (PV) technology, although Utico is open to proposals for other technologies.

“It is [planned as a] PV project, but proposals with other proven technologies are welcome,” said a source close to the project.

The closing date for prequalification entries is 15 March. In November 2013, Utico announced plans to build solar and water power plant projects in Ras al-Khaimah worth an estimated total of $450m.

Neighbouring emirate Dubai is also using the IPP model to procure solar power generation. In December 2013, the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (Dewa) received bids for the advisory contract for the planned 100MW second phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum Solar Park. The 13MW first phase of the park began operation in October 22 and is the largest operating photovoltaic (PV) solar plant in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region, generating 24 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity a year.

In addition to the renwable energy projects Utico, in partnership with China’s Shanghai Electric, is also planning to build a clean-coal power plant in Ras al-Khaimah as part of the UAE’s energy diversification efforts. The AED1.5bn ($408m) facility will have a generation capacity of 270MW. The design of the utility will capture 80 per cent of carbon emissions using carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.