US firm inks deal to supply PV modules to Dubai solar park

First Solar will supply 2.36 million photovoltaic modules for second phase of the upcoming Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park

PHOTO: When completed in 2017 the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is set to be the largest facility of its kind in the Middle East. Credit: First Solar

American solar firm First Solar has signed an agreement to supply photovoltaic modules to power the 200MW second phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai.

According to a company statement, First Solar will provide 2.36 million modules to power the project.

“This project’s impact on the global energy transition cannot be overstated. It has effectively driven down the cost of solar electricity, marking a new milestone in solar PV’s evolution as a mainstream energy resource,” said Ahmed S. Nada, vice president and region executive for the Middle East at First Solar.

“With this win, First Solar will have earned the position of being the leading PV solutions provider in the Middle East, with a projected installed capacity of at least 270MW across the region by 2017.”

A consortium led by Saudi-based power and water developer ACWA Power and TSK, a Spanish engineering and construction company, was selected earlier this year by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) to develop, construct, own and operate the solar park, which is an independent power project. The project’s tariff will be 5.84 cents per kilowatt-hour, reducing the cost of solar electricity by over 20%.

The upcoming solar plant will be the largest facility of its kind in the Middle East when it is completed in early 2017, and will produce enough energy to power 30,000 average homes in the UAE and will displace over 469,650 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. The plant will be built over an area of 4.5 million sqm, enough to cover as many as 100 football pitches.

Alfonso Targhetta, procurement managing director and board member at TSK, remarked that the project would establish a new benchmark for reliable and affordable solar power in the Middle East.

“By combining our engineering and construction capabilities with First Solar’s high performance modules, this project will help define how utility scale PV plants are developed throughout the region and beyond,” he said.

First Solar modules already power the 13MW first phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. They will also be installed at the 52.5MW Shams Ma’an solar PV plant, currently being built in Jordan and scheduled for completion in the second half of 2016.

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