,Saudi Arabia

Saudi’s ACWA Power launches Dubai solar giant

This 300-MW project forms part of the fifth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.

Saudi developer, ACWA Power, has announced the official inauguration of the 300-megawatt (MW) first stage of the 900-MW Shuaa Energy 3 PSC, the fifth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai.

The inauguration of the project marks another transformative moment in Dubai’s continued energy transition and energy diversification strategies and its development plans. The ceremony was held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai.

According to Renews Biz, the 900-MW fifth phase was awarded to an ACWA Power led consortium at a world record tariff of a 1.6953-dollar cent per kilowatt per hour last year and brings the current production capacity of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park to 1313 MW.

Once fully operational, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is expected to be the largest single-site solar park in the world based on the Independent Power Producer model, with a planned production capacity of 5,000 MW.

Also, 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 by 20%.

Meanwhile, the project will feature a state-of-the-art automated solar panel cleaning system, with 2,662 automatic cleaning robots positioned around the plant.

The system guarantees a cleaning factor of 99.3%, further optimising the productivity and operational capability of the plant.

On the other hand, Shuaa Energy 3 PSC is the special purpose vehicle incorporated for the project, with 60% owned by the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority and the remaining 40% split between ACWA Power and Gulf Investment Corporation, the report said.

The inauguration of the first part of the fifth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai reinforces ACWA Power’s commitment to supporting Dubai’s ambitious strategy to balance economic growth and environmental sustainability. 

ACWA Power Chairman Mohammad Abunayyan said, "I would like to express my sincere gratitude, on behalf of ACWA Power, to HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, for both his attendance and this inauguration ceremony, in recognition of this momentous achievement, which was executed in record time – under 12 months – despite the negative operational impact of the pandemic.

Abunayyan further said that “none of this would have been possible without the support of our long-term partner, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, led by HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, who have been invaluable throughout in the delivery of this project at the highest safety and quality standards."

Shuaa Energy 3 PSC is expected to power 270,000 residential units and offset carbon emissions amounting to 1.18 million tons per year in Dubai.

A brief history, the 13-MW photovoltaic first phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park became operational in 2013.

The 200-MW photovoltaic second phase of the solar park, developed by ACWA Power, was launched in March 2017.

Further, work on the fourth phase 950-MW CSP and PV hybrid Noor Energy 1 is underway and on track by an ACWA Power-led consortium.

The fifth phase of the solar park is expected to be commissioned in phases later this year, the report concluded.

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