Construction of one of the largest concentrated solarpower (CSP) projects in the world has begun in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is developing the 700MW project in collaboration with a consortium comprising Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power and China’s Shanghai Electric.

It forms the fourth phase of Dubai’s Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which is expected to generate 5,000MW by 2030.

The UAE’s Vice-President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said: “Developing the UAE’s infrastructure is a top priority for the leadership and vital to raising the country’s global competitiveness.

“The UAE is developing a new model for sustainability and innovation and is keen to find creative solutions based on international best practices and benchmarks.”

“We are guided by HH Sheikh Mohammed’s resolve and vision to achieve the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to transform Dubai into a global hub for clean energy and green economy.”

Being developed in phases, the project will use a 600MW parabolic basin complex and a 100MW solar tower measuring 260m. It is based on an independent power producer (IPP) model and will be built on a total area of 43km².

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Designed to provide renewable energy to more than 270,000 residences in Dubai, the project is expected to reduce 1.4 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually.

Built with an investment of AED14.2bn ($3.8bn), the project will also achieve a levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) of $7.30 per kilowatt hour (kW/h).

The 13MW solar photovoltaic (PV) first phase was commissioned in 2013 followed by the 200MW PV second phase in March last year. The 800MW PV third phase is scheduled to be operational by 2020, while the first stage of the 700MW CSP fourth phase will be commissioned in Q4 2020.

DEWA MD and CEO Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer said: “The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park will provide Expo 2020 Dubai with a dedicated capacity of 464MW of clean energy. This will be the first Expo in the world to be completely powered by clean energy.

“We are guided by HH Sheikh Mohammed’s resolve and vision to achieve the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to transform Dubai into a global hub for clean energy and green economy; establishing the Emirate as the city with the lowest carbon footprint in the world.

“Achieving these ambitious targets will require more than 42,000MW of clean and renewable energy by 2050.

“This project is one of the most important projects that will contribute to these needs. It has a planned capacity of 5,000MW by 2030, with a total of AED50bn ($13bn) in investments, to accelerate the transformation towards solarpower.”