Dubai to Create World’s Largest Single-Site Solar Park

Concentrated solar power plant; Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project as seen from an airliner
Concentrated solar power plant; Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project as seen from an airliner, via CC BY-SA 4.0

Dubai is to provide clean energy to an extra 270,000 homes with the final stage of installation at the world’s largest single-site solar energy park.

The UAE’s Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, broke ground on the fourth phase of the 700MW concentrated solar power (CSP) project.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park will seek to meet the target of a planned total production capacity of 1,000MW by 2020 and 5,000MW by 2030.

The park, which features the world’s tallest solar tower at 260m, will reduce more than 6.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year and power 800,000 homes by 2030.

With a total investment of Dh50 billion, the project serves to meet UAE’s Clean Energy Strategy to have 7 percent of its total power output from clean energy sources by 2020 and 75 percent by 2050.

The park will reduce more than 6.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year and power 800,000 homes by 2030.

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), said the project would also be home to the world’s largest thermal energy storage capacity.

It will use two technologies for the production of clean energy: the 600MW parabolic basin complex and the 100MW solar tower over a total area of 43 square kilometres.

concentrated solar power plant
Concentrated solar power plant. Photo by afloresm via CC BY 2.0

The first stage of the park became operational five years ago, while the 200MW photovoltaic second phase of the solar park was launched in March 2017.

The 800MW photovoltaic third phase will be operational by 2020, and the first stage of the 700MW CSP fourth phase will be commissioned in 2020.

The contractor of the project is a consortium comprising Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power and the Silk Road Fund, in collaboration with China’s Shanghai Electric.

Mr Al Tayer said the park would help to drive UAE’s strategy to become energy dependent from fossil fuels.

It will also make the emirate a global hub for clean energy and establish Dubai with the lowest carbon footprint in the world.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park will also provide Expo 2020 Dubai with a dedicated capacity of 464MW of clean energy and make it the first Expo in the world to be completely powered by clean energy.