DEWA announces commencement of tunnelling work for 250MW hydroelectric power plant

The power station will have a storage capacity of 1,500MWh and a life span of 80 years

Tunneling operations have started for a 250MW hydroelectric power station in Hatta, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has announced. The project is the first-of-its-kind in the GCC region and is being undertaken at a cost of $386.5m.

According to a statement from DEWA, the construction contract for the pumped-storage hydroelectric power station was awarded to a consortium led by Strabag AG, with key partners Strabag Dubai, Andritz Hydro and Ozkar. Électricité de France (EDF) is the consultant on the project, which is scheduled to be commissioned by February 2024.

“The hydroelectric power station translates DEWA’s hard work to implement the directives of the wise leadership to protect natural resources and increase the share of clean and renewable energy. This is what we strive to achieve through the pumped-storage hydroelectric power station, which is the first of its kind in the Arabian Gulf region. This promotes Dubai’s position as a global hub for clean energy and green economy,” said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO, after reviewing the project’s progress.

Al Tayer was accompanied by Nasser Lootah, EVP-Generation at DEWA, Yousef Jebril, EVP-Power and Water Planning at DEWA, Dr. Yousef Al Akraf, EVP-Business Support and HR at DEWA, Mansoor Alsuwaidi, VP – Projects Generation at DEWA and Khalifa Albedwawi, the project manager. Al Tayer and his delegation were briefed about the project by Dirk Leitzig from Strabag AG.

He added, “The tunneling operations have started at the hydroelectric station. This phase is very critical and uses the latest and safest drilling technologies to fit Hatta’s geological features, while following the highest international environmental standards.”

Al Tayer stated that the project would diversify the energy mix and support Hatta’s economic, social and environmental development. “It will also help achieve the goals of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to provide 75% of Dubai’s total power output from clean energy by 2050,” he remarked.

The 250MW power station will use water in the Hatta Dam and an upper reservoir that will be built in the mountain. During off-peak hours, advanced turbines will use clean solar power from the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park to pump water from the dam to the upper reservoir. Turbines operated by the speed of waterfall from the upper reservoir will be used to generate electricity through a 1.2km subterranean water canal, with high efficiency in power generation and storage, and with a 90-second response to demand for electricity, the statement from DEWA said.

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