Located on a single site within the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the largest single-site project to generate electricity from solar energy in the world, the facility will ultimately produce 1000 megawatts by 2020 and 5000 megawatts by 2030. This will provide power for 800,000 homes and smash the capacity of the current record holder for the largest concentrated solar plant, the Noor-Ouarzazate complex in Morocco, which will generate 500 MW by 2018. The solar park is also expected to help reduce 6.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually.
Estimated projections from DEWA CEO Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer indicate that the plant is expected to be fully operational in 2030. This would coincide with the country’s efforts to work towards obtaining 25 percent of its energy from clean sources.
“An important advantage of [concentrated solar power] is that thermal heat, which is used to produce electricity, can be stored easily, which makes it possible to produce electricity after sunset,” Al Tayer said. “The plant will have several thousand heliostats located around a tower that receives the radiation reflected by the heliostats which follow the sun’s movement. The heat-transfer fluid is then used to power the steam turbine to generate electricity.
“The project will use thermal storage for 8-12 hours daily, taking into account technical and economic factors. This will contribute to improving the effectiveness and efficiency of production and meet the requirements of the electricity grid. This in turn, will provide sustainable world-class energy supply for everyone in terms of availability and reliability, and support the sustainable development of the emirate. It will contribute to making Dubai the city with the lowest carbon footprint in the world by 2050.”
“We constantly work, led by the vision of our wise leadership who instructed us to prepare to bid farewell to the last drop of oil. This is based on a vision that recognizes the significance of renewable energy in achieving a balance between development and sustainability. DEWA continues building projects to achieve this vision and consolidate sustainability to ensure a brighter and happier future,” he continues.
Al Tayer states that DEWA is working to diversify Dubai’s energy mix to include 61 percent from natural gas, 25 percent from solar energy, 7 percent from coal and 7 percent from nuclear power by 2030. The reliance on clean energy sources will be increased incrementally to touch 75 percent by 2050, he added.
Incredibly, the new plant will deliver power at less than 8 cents per kilowatt-hour, down from the typical 15 kilowatt-hour rate.