US Secretary of Energy praises the strategic vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum while visiting the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park

Rick Perry, US Secretary of Energy praised the strategic vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and said: I think His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai vision of having a diversified energy portfolio is not only correct but visionary. It attracts to a great degree what US President Donald Trump believes in. The USA as it has all of the above energy strategies where have been blessed to have massive amounts of fossil fuels that we are able to use in a very diverse way. 10 years ago we didn't have the Liquified Natural Gas (LNG ) that we have today. It's a great transitional fuel driving down emissions along with wind energy, solar energy, hydro energy and with civil nuclear energy. All of these combined give a country a lot of flexibility, to drive down cost of power.

This facility which is the largest solar array in the world in a single site, is a very visionary project that reflects His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vision for the world and certainly for Dubai to be a leader in energy development. This is a great example for Public Private partnership can do, what a small country, relatively speaking can be a giant in the world of energy efficiency addressing the global climate needs, desires of the world. Tip of the hat to HH for putting together his team here and the future looks bright in the surround area, said Perry.

This came during the visit of US Secretary of Energy to the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park where he was received by HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) welcomed Rick Perry, US Secretary of Energy, and a high-level delegation from the US Department of Energy, at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai. The meeting covered potential cooperation and sharing knowledge about renewable and clean energy. The delegation included Tommy Joyce, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Affairs, Rachael Beitler, Deputy Chief of Staff to the Secretary, and other officials from the US Department of Energy.

US Secretary of Energy was briefed about American companies' contributions in the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park's projects.

Al Tayer welcomed the delegation, noting that DEWA has strategic partnerships with the US Department of Energy and many American organisations and companies in clean energy, energy efficiency, digital transformation and automation projects.

The UAE attaches great importance to environmental sustainability and the shift towards a green economy through increasing the share of clean and renewable energy. This supports the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, which was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to provide 75% of Dubai's total power output from clean energy by 2050. To achieve this, DEWA launched several green programmes and initiatives, including the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the largest single-site solar park in the world. Using the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model, it will have a capacity of 5,000MW by 2030 with investments totalling AED 50 billion. Upon completion, the solar park will reduce at least 6.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually and provide thousands of jobs in clean energy and green economy, said Al Tayer.

Al Tayer presented DEWA's current projects and initiatives to anticipate and reshape the future of energy by innovating a model for future utilities in the production, transmission, and distribution of electricity and water. He said that DEWA has investments worth over AED 86 billion over the next five years to meet growing demand for electricity and water in Dubai. DEWA currently has an installed capacity of 11,400 megawatts (MW) of electricity and 470 million gallons of desalinated water per day, providing its services to over 900,000 customers in Dubai according to the highest levels of availability, quality and efficiency.

Al Tayer explained that the capacity of the current projects at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is 713 MW. Total capacity of the five phases announced so far will reach 2,863 MW and will reach 5,000 MW by 2030. This includes 4,000MW from photovoltaic solar panels and 1,000MW from Concentrated Solar Power (CSP).

Al Tayer said that DEWA has adopted the IPP model in the solar park's projects to promote public-private partnerships. Through this model DEWA has, on five separate occasions, achieved the lowest international prices for electricity. Achieving the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 requires a capacity of 42,000MW of clean and renewable energy by 2050. DEWA has attracted huge investments to the UAE from the private sector and foreign banks, leading to increased cash flow to the economy of Dubai and the UAE.

The 13MW first phase of the solar park became operational in 2013 using photovoltaic solar panels. The 200MW photovoltaic second phase of the solar park was commissioned in March 2017. The second phase provides clean energy to 50,000 residences in Dubai, reducing 214,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually. This phase installed 2.3 million photovoltaic solar panels over an area of 4.5 square kilometres. DEWA set a world record by obtaining the lowest price globally at USD 5.6 cents per kWh for the second phase of the park at the time of the tender.

DEWA is currently developing the third phase with a capacity of 800 MW, as the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa to use an advanced solar tracking system. This will increase generation efficiency by 20-30% when compared to fixed installations. DEWA achieved a world record in the cost of photovoltaic solar power for this phase of the solar park, at a Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) of USD 2.99 cents per kWh using IPP. The third phase using photovoltaic solar panels will be completed in 2020.

The fourth phase of the solar park is the largest single-site solar IPP project in the world that combines CSP and photovoltaic technology with a capacity of 950MW. It will use 700MW of CSP; 600MW from a parabolic basin complex and 100MW from a solar tower; and 250MW from photovoltaic solar panels. The project will feature the tallest solar tower in the world at 260 metres. It will also have the biggest global thermal storage capacity of 15 hours; allowing for energy availability around the clock. The fourth phase achieved the world's lowest CSP LCOE of USD 7.3 cents per kWh, and the lowest LCOE for photovoltaic technology of USD 2.4 cents per kWh.

DEWA has achieved a world record by receiving the lowest bid of USD 1.6953 cents per kWh for the 900MW fifth phase of the solar park using photovoltaic solar panels, based on IPP. This phase will become operational in stages starting from Q2 of 2021 onwards.

The R and D Centre at the solar park focuses on four key operations. These include producing electricity from solar power and other clean energy technologies; the integration of smart grids; energy efficiency, and water.

Saudi Arabia's ACWA Power, the main developer of the 200MW second phase of the solar park, highlighted their efforts in developing the second phase through 'Shuaa Energy 1,' which was established by DEWA and the consortium led by ACWA Power and Spain's TSK. This phase installed 2.3 million thin-film photovoltaic solar panels provided from First Solar. The project provides clean energy to 50,000 residences in Dubai, reducing 214,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually.

The meeting included a presentation by the First Solar, the American company that DEWA selected to implement the 13MW first phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, according to the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contracting. Powered by 152,880 First Solar FS Series 3 Black PV modules, the plant generates 24 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year. The power generated by the plant reduces 15,000 metric tonnes of CO2 annually, which is equivalent to removing 2,000 cars off the streets annually.

Source: Dubai Electricity and Water Authority