Dubai has achieved an iconic milestone of a $327 million (1.2 billion dirham) solar plant being built ahead of schedule which is a part of plans to shape the world’s largest concentrated solar energy park by 2030.The government-owned utility in Dubai successfully completed a 200-megawatt power plant one month in advance.
According to Chief Executive Officer of the Emirate’s utility, Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, the solar plant which is featured in the Dubai desert is led by developer ACWA Power International of Saudi Arabia, and was planned to be completed in April. Al Tayer confirmed that Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) would obtain power for 5.6 cents per kilowatt-hour from the plant, and this was reported to be the lowest cost worldwide for solar power during 2015, the time when the project was granted. DEWA has since then contracted power for another facility at an, even more, lower price of 2.99 cents.
Dubai aims to lessen its reliance on natural gas as the main source electricity, and visions to achieve 5,000 megawatts of solar capacity at the park by 2030. The solar plant which started recently would generate sufficient electricity to power around 50,000 homes. According to Energy Minister, Suhail Al Mazrouei, the UAE, which holds around 6% of global crude reserves reportedly, plans to invest around 600 billion dirhams on renewable energy by the middle of the century.
Al Tayer reiterated at the inauguration of the new plant, that the UAE started its preparations early to bid farewell to the last drop of oil. He added that Dubai would be poised by 2020 to generate 10% of its electricity from renewable sources.
The third phase of the construction of the solar park which includes an 800-megawatt facility is already under way. In June, the contracts for the fourth phase of the park would be awarded. Al Tayer said that the solar park segment would provide power using the concentrated solar power technology for around 8 cents per kilowatt-hour. Meanwhile, DEWA is reported to the financially supporting the projects through a partnership with the developers of power plants.