HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid has officially opened the world's largest Solar Park in Dubai - which will generate clean and renewable energy that according to officials involved in the project will ultimately pave the way for a more ‘stable electricity tariff rate' in the long run. The second phase of the park was inaugurated by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The inauguration ceremony coincided with the International Day of Happiness - and the innovative Solar Park reflects a new era in the excellence and leadership of the UAE.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation and Chief Executive of the Emirates Group, HE Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, and a number of ministers and senior officials from the UAE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was received by HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) who highlighted the solar park's projects and the second phase, which is the first and largest solar-energy project in the region, based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model. It was accomplished through a partnership between DEWA and the consortium led by ACWA Power from Saudi Arabia, the main developer of the project, and TSK from Spain, the main contractor, with an investment of AED 1.2 billion.
This phase can generate clean energy for 50,000 residences in Dubai, and will reduce 214,000 tons of carbon emissions annually. This phase installed 2.3 million photovoltaic solar panels over 4.5 square kilometers with 1.5 million Safe Man Hours without Lost Time Injury during project execution. The efforts of Shuaa Energy 1, which was established by DEWA and the consortium led by ACWA Power and TSK, have been vital in completing the work efficiently and professionally.
"The UAE's strategies and investments are clear evidences that it is today leading international efforts in clean and renewable energy. The second phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which is a national landmark that will contribute to the happiness of society and generations to come, adds to the blessed progress of the UAE under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The UAE puts sustainability and diversification of energy sources at the forefront of its priorities, based on a forward-looking vision that shapes the future, focuses on the happiness of people, and balances the need for development with the preservation of our environment. The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park reflects our commitment to build a better, brighter, and more sustainable future for generations to come. The significance of the solar park is not only in combining the efforts of the public and private sectors in solar energy, but also in hosting a Research & Development centre that will include a photovoltaic solar testing facility, which is set to become one of the largest in the region," said Al Tayer.
"Our success in completing this phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which will generate 200 megawatts of clean energy ahead of schedule, is a direct result of the unlimited support of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The insightful vision of His Highness is both an inspiration and a guiding beacon in our drive towards excellence and the unprecedented overall progress that we have made to achieve the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to generate 7% of Dubai's total power output from clean energy by 2020, 25% by 2030, and 75% by 2050. The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is one of the major projects that DEWA implements to achieve this promising strategy. It is the largest single-site solar park in the world, based on the IPP model, with a planned capacity of 1,000 megawatts by 2020 and 5,000 megawatts by 2030, with a total investment of AED50 billion. It will eventually save over 6.5 million tons of carbon emissions every year, supporting Dubai's objectives to promote sustainable development and a green economy," added Al Tayer.
"The UAE's interest in producing renewable energy has contributed to the decline of its global cost to competitive levels. This was clearly shown by DEWA setting a world record, obtaining the lowest price globally for the second phase of the solar park, at USD 5.6 cents per kilowatt hour. DEWA set another world record with the lowest recorded bid being USD 2.99 cents per kW/h for the 800 megawatt third phase of the solar park. This demonstrates the promising future of clean energy," said Al Tayer.
Al Tayer noted that DEWA is building the largest Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project in the world, based on the IPP model. The 200 megawatt first phase of the CSP plant will be operational by April 2021, and will generate 1,000 megawatts using this technology by 2030.
Al Tayer addressed His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum saying: "At DEWA, we don't rest on our laurels. Success is a motivator for us to double our efforts and work, inspired by the words of Your Highness that, "Success is not a destination, but a journey. Each time that you reach a summit on this journey, you must look ahead to the next one. Your Highness, we promise you that we will continue our success and excellence in everything we do, guided by your vision and directives. We are as determined as you are, to promote the renewable and clean energy sector and strengthen the UAE's global leadership. We are moving forward with confidence to achieve first place globally. These are not expectations, neither are they an option to choose, but rather a commitment we intend to fulfil, until we meet again for our next achievement."
"Under the visionary leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ACWA Power is proud to have safely completed well ahead of the schedule the largest PV plant in the region within the second phase of the leading project of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park - all this while adhering to the highest safety, security and quality standards.
"This achievement stresses our unwavering commitment to support the efforts of making Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 a reality," said HE Mohammad Abunayyan, Chairman of ACWA Power. "It has been an honour for TSK to have participated in the execution of one of the most important renewable projects in the world and for having helped with the sustainable development of the planet."