His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has inaugurated the 200 megawatts (MW) first stage of the 800MW third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.
The solar park is one of the major projects that the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, DEWA, is implementing based on the Independent Power Producer, IPP, system in partnership with a consortium led by Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, Masdar, and EDF Group, through its subsidiary EDF Energies Nouvelles. The second and third stages of the third phase, which have a capacity of 300MW each, will be completed in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, and number of Ministers and Director Generals of Dubai government departments.
Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, the Managing Director and CEO of DEWA, welcomed His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and said, "Today marks the commissioning of the first stage of the third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. This phase is a key milestone and shows our strong belief in the role of clean energy in shaping a sustainable future. This supports the UAE’s efforts to strengthen its leading global position in clean energy through such major projects. This also contributes to realising the vision of our wise leadership led by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the directives of Your Highness, and the aspirations of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for a post-oil era. Through this national landmark, which Emirati youth help grow every day, they are establishing a happy and prosperous society that will achieve the UAE Centennial 2071 objective of making our nation the best country in the world," he added.
Al Tayer went on to say, "His Highness’s pioneering strategy launched in 2012 has markedly changed the progress of sustainability in the UAE and the region; extending its impact to the entire world. This was the UAE Green Growth Strategy under the theme ‘A Green Economy for Sustainable Development.’ The pinnacle of this journey was the launch of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in 2012 by His Highness. Dubai adapted the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model to achieve industry-defining world records. These have reduced solar electricity tariffs for large solar projects and the world's biggest investments, to generate positive economic returns. The UAE Vision 2021, the Dubai Plan 2021 and the Clean Energy Strategy 2050 also support our focus on living in a world powered by clean and renewable energy."
"In Abu Dhabi, in June 2016, we witnessed the signing of the partnership agreement between DEWA and a consortium led by Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) to implement the 800MW third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which is being built in stages at the lowest Levelised Cost of Energy in the world of 2.99 US cents per kilowatt hour, using photovoltaic solar panels. Today shows the initial fruits of the combined efforts of DEWA, Masdar, and EDF, because there is more to come," the DEWA Managing Director continued.
He explained that the remaining stages of the third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park are currently under construction to generate a further 600MW, for a total of 800MW by 2020. The total capacity of the photovoltaic and Concentrated Solar Power IPP–based projects is 1,500MW. After the inauguration of this leading milestone, solar power will now generate four percent of Dubai’s total installed capacity.
"This solar plant is the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa, with an advanced solar tracking system to increase generation efficiency. It also uses unique technologies including over 800,000 self-cleaning solar cells that maintain a high-performance level. The project has been implemented with over 2.4 million accident-free man-hours. It will provide over 60,000 residences with electricity, reducing over 270,000 tonnes of carbon emissions every year," Al Tayer noted.
"The UAE’s impressive progress in the field of renewable energy would not have been achieved without the vision of its leadership, which aims to strengthen the energy security of the country by building on the foundation of its hydrocarbon sector to create a diverse mix including conventional energy, renewables and nuclear energy," said Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar.
"Masdar and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority have played an active role in enhancing the cost efficiency and productivity of renewable energy by deploying the latest advances in technology," Dr. Al Jaber added.
"Solar power complements conventional energy in a relationship that makes perfect economic sense in this region, given the number of clear sunny days in the year, by helping to reduce energy costs through peak shaving."
Dr. Al Jaber further highlighted the critical role played by large-scale renewable energy projects in stimulating job creation and innovation in knowledge-based industries. He added that the major projects now underway in the UAE and Saudi Arabia showed that the region, which for years has led the way in the traditional energy sector, was now at the forefront of the development of renewable energy.
Dr. Al Jaber praised the efforts of all the teams involved in Shua’a Energy 2 from Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Masdar, and EDF Energies Nouvelles, wishing them every success in the realisation of a strategic project for the UAE.
"It is a great honour for the EDF Group to contribute to the Emirate of Dubai’s energy transition. I am delighted with the trusting relationship we have forged with our partners, DEWA and Masdar, to develop carbon-free energy in the region and beyond. The third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park exemplifies the EDF Group’s ability to execute large-scale solar projects, whilst contributing to the ambitions of the Group’s CAP 2030 strategy: doubling its renewable capacities and tripling its international business outside of Europe by 2030," said Jean-Bernard Levy, Chairman and CEO of EDF Group.