Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has awarded an AED14.2bn ($3.8bn) contract to a consortium of Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power and China’s Shanghai Electric to build a 700MW solarpower plant in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The contract has been awarded following a bid made by the consortium offering a levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) of $7.3 per kilowatt hour.

When completed, the plant will represent the fourth phase of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park and it will be one of the largest single-site concentrated solarpower (CSP) projects in the world, based on independent power producer (IPP) model.

The plant will feature 260m high towers and is expected to be commissioned in stages starting from Q4, 2020.

The plant’s power purchase agreement and financial close are expected to be completed soon.

DEWA MD and CEO Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer said: “Awarding this strategic project supports the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to promote sustainability and make Dubai a global centre for clean energy and a green economy.

“This vision is supported by the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to increase the share of clean energy in Dubai’s total power output to 7% by 2020, 25% by 2030, and 75% by 2050.

“Our focus on renewable energy generation has led to a drop in prices worldwide and has lowered the price of solarpower bids in Europe and the Middle East. This was evident today when we received the lowest CSP project cost in the world.”

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is expected to generate 1,000MW of power by 2020 and 5,000MW by 2030.

Image: Dubai Electricity and Water Authority MD and CEO Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer. Photo: courtesy of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority.