Dubai achieves world-record, lowest ever PV tariff


Following its successful Bid Submission on the 9th of October 2019, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) awarded the 900MW photovoltaic fifth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park to the consortium led by ACWA Power in partnership with Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC).

The winning tariff of $1.6953 cents/kWh establishes a new global benchmark for Solar Energy.

The progress of this project even as the world is severely impacted by the COVID 19 Pandemic is a testament to DEWA’s unwavering commitment to meeting the energy demands of Dubai with increasing share of renewable energy and reconfirms the confidence of the financial markets in the ability of DEWA and ACWA Power to successfully complete the project and reliably dispatch green electricity for the 25-year duration of the contract.

In line with its strategy to support Dubai in its forward-thinking ambitions of becoming a low-carbon sustainable economy, the Mohammed bin Rashid Solar Park will be the largest single-site solar park in the world based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model when completed with a planned production capacity of 5,000 MW, with investments valued at $13.6 billion. When completed, the solar park will save over 6.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually.

The 900MW  5th phase with an investment of $570 Million, will bring the production capacity of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park to 2,863MW. This fifth phase alone is expected to power 270,000 homes and offset carbon emissions amounting to 1.18 million Tons per year in Dubai.  The project will use the latest bifacial photovoltaic solar panels, which captures sunlight on both sides of the panel and produces energy with an advanced solar tracking system to increase generation efficiency.

The PPA was signed by HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, and Mohammad Abdullah Abunayyan, Chairman of ACWA Power duringa virtual signing ceremony.

HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, said: “To achieve the vision and directives of the wise leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE; His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to invest in clean and renewable energy project, we sign the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), using conference-calling, with the consortium led by ACWA Power and Gulf Investment Corporation. This is to implement the 5th phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. This pioneering national landmark is the largest single-site solar park in the world.”

The 13MW photovoltaic first phase became operational in 2013. The 200MW photovoltaic second phase of the solar park, developed by ACWA Power, was launched in March 2017. The solar park’s photovoltaic third phase has a capacity of 800MW. Work on the fourth phase 950 MW, CSP and PV hybrid Noor Energy 1 is underway and on track by ACWA Power.

Chairman of ACWA Power, Mohammad Abunayyan, commented on the occasion saying: “The signing of today’s agreement is a testament of the robust strategic partnership we have established with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, which we are immensely proud of. The Mohammed Bin Rashid Solar Park is the most ambitious and largest project of its kind worldwide, that aims to reduce the carbon footprint in Dubai and transform Dubai into a global model for clean energy and the sustainable green economy”.

Ibrahim AlQadhi, CEO of GIC, concluded: “Dubai has successfully attracted regional and international private sector investment into the renewable energy. DEWA continue to increase the efficiency of the sector by using up to date clean technology and good utility practice at a very economical price. It will also promote economic and social development by bringing additional power capacity on stream in a timely fashion. GIC is a leading investor in power and water projects and intends to continue to play a major role in utilities projects in the Gulf”

This solar park will be a key pillar in fulfilling Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to increase the share of clean energy in Dubai’s total power output to  75% by 2050.

DEWA will retain a 60% stake in this latest solar project and be the sole off-taker of power under a 25-year PPA. The 5th phase of the solar park is expected to be commissioned in phases starting Q3 2021.