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Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammed opens first stage of 800MW third phase of solar park

Remaining two stages will each add 300MW of capacity by 2020

The 200MW first stage of the 800MW third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park was inaugurated by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The second and third stages of the third phase, which have a capacity of 300MW each, will be completed in 2019 and 2020 respectively, according to a report from state news agency WAM.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and several Ministers and Director Generals of Dubai government departments.

“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. In Abu Dhabi, in June 2016, we witnessed the signing of the partnership agreement between Dubai Electric and Water Authority (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,” said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of DEWA.

The total capacity of the photovoltaic and Concentrated Solar Power IPP–based projects is now said to stand at 1,500MW. Following the commissioning of this milestone, solar power will comprise 4% 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 2.4m 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 solar park is said to be one of the major projects that the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority is implementing based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) system. The project is the result of a partnership with a consortium led by Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, Masdar, and EDF Group, through its subsidiary EDF Energies Nouvelles.

“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. Masdar and DEWA have played an active role in enhancing the cost efficiency and productivity of renewable energy by deploying the latest advances in technology,” said Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and chairman of Masdar.

Jean-Bernard Levy, chairman and CEO of EDF Group, added, “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.”

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