Third phase of Dubai’s 800MW solar park project reaches financial closing

Irshad Salim (BE2C2 Report) — French energy group EDF announced Wednesday that financial closing for the third phase of 800MW solar project at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai has officially been completed.

Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai.

A consortium led by Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company Masdar is building the 800MW project in 3 stages at the solar park which will generate enough electricity to power about 120,000 average UAE homes.

Considered the largest single-site solar park in the world based on Independent Power Producers (IPP) model, the Maktoum Solar Park is instrumental to the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 — the goal is to have 25% share of renewables in the energy mix by 2030 and 75% by 2050.

By 2030, its production capacity will reach 5,000MW with investments totaling almost US$14 billion, said DEWA’s CEO Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer.

The 800MW project — one of the many expected to be launched at the solar park progressively, has also set a global benchmark in solar tariffs at a price of US$0.0299/kWh, a world-record-low tariff for solar power generation.

The Solar Park’s 16 square km phase is being developed in three stages. The first 200MW section is currently under construction and is set to be completed by April 2018. The 300MW second set is expected to come online in April 2019, while the 300MW final stage is scheduled for April 2020.

Once fully operational, it will generate enough electricity to power about 120,000 average UAE homes.

The consortium includes Paris-based EDF Energies Nouvelles in partnership with DEWA, with financing from seven different institutions: the Union National Bank, the Islamic Development Bank and the Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation, commercial bank Natixis, Siemens Financial Services, Korea Development Bank and Export Development Canada.

The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the project has been awarded to an international consortium led by renewable energy contractor GranSolar of Spain, alongside Acciona from Spain and Ghella of Italy.

Al Tayer said that “DEWA has adopted the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model to build the 800MW third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. It has generated international interest from global business and energy companies, which reflects the trust and interest from international investors in large projects adopted by Dubai Government. This has been supported by the favorable existing regulatory and legislative frameworks in Dubai that enable public-private partnerships.”

He added: “The solar park’s production capacity will reach 5,000MW by 2030 with investments totaling US$13.6 billion and will eventually save over 6.5 million tons of carbon emissions every year, supporting Dubai’s objectives to promote its sustainable goals.”

The 800MW PV project — part of the Solar Park, is expected to generate 2.5 million MWh per annum upon completion, Al Tayer added.

EDF Energies Nouvelles announced back in March that it was joining the Masdar-led consortium responsible for the development of the project. The French utility and energy group has also made foray in Saudi renewables market. EDF Energies Nouvelles, which is a subsidiary of the French public energy company, along with Marubeni Corp and Mitsui & Co of Japan have been shortlisted for upcoming solar projects in the Kingdom being bid on on public-private partnership basis.

BE2C2 is a business unit of Irshad Salim Associates  which produces reports, infographics, analytics and analyses based on data and information from sources readily available on the web and in the public domain.

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