Photovoltaic (PV) solar plant
The 200MW phase two of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park was commissioned in March 2017. Developed under the build-own-operate (BOO) mode, the project is the biggest solar power plant in the Middle East.
The renewable power project forms part of the larger 1GW Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which is expected to be completed by 2030. The overall project site will cover an area of 48km², located south-east of Dubai. The total development cost of the project is estimated to be AED12bn ($3.2bn approximately).
Phase two was constructed by the consortium of ACWA Power (85%) and TSK (15%) under a contract awarded in January 2015, and is being managed by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA). DEWA owns a 51% equity stake in the project, while the developer owns the remaining 49%.
The project was registered under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) with an initial crediting period of seven years in November 2016.
The new plant will produce enough electricity to power 30,000 homes and displace 469,650t of carbon emissions a year. It will also enable the city to diversify its energy sources and achieve the target of generating 7% of its energy output from solar by 2020 and 15% by 2030.
The Shams solar power station is being built in the city of Madinat Zayed, located 120km south west of Abu Dhabi.
The solar park was constructed 50km south of Dubai, approximately 30km from the crossroads of the Dubai-Al Ain Highway and Al Lusaily road. The ideal inland location, surrounded by dunes, offers a dust-free setting.
The project involved the installation of 2.36 million First Solar FS Series 3 Black photovoltaic (PV) modules over a 4.5 million square metre-area.
Each PV module is 12m long and 6m wide, has a thickness of 6.8mm, and weighs 12kg. The modules have a warranty of 25 years and can be easily recycled.
The plant is connected to the DEWA grid. The integrated substation for the solar park was constructed by ABB, who was awarded the design, installation, commissioning and start-up contract for the plant’s power transformers in October 2014. The contractual scope also included the protection, automation and control, surveillance and communication systems.
The substation is primarily equipped with eight bays of 400kV and ten bays of 132kV gas-insulated switchgears (GIS) and two 132kV / 400kV power transformers rated at 570MVA.
The output from phase two will be sold to ACWA at a level tariff of $0.0584kWh, under a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA).
The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park was launched in January 2012.
Phase one of the solar park, with an installed capacity of 13MW, started operations in October 2013. It is equipped with 152,880 First Solar FS Series 3 Black PV modules and produces 24 million kilowatts per hour of electricity a year, serving roughly 600 homes and displacing more than 15,000t of CO2.
It is being managed and operated by DEWA and was developed by First Solar. The plant generated approximately 1,280 jobs at the peak.
The 800MW third phase development contract was awarded to a consortium led by Masdar in June 2016, while completion is scheduled for 2020.
The 700MW fourth phase is being developed in stages by a consortium comprising ACWA Power, The Silk Road Fund, and Shanghai Electric. The project will feature the world’s tallest solar tower.
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