Dubai will double the planned 100 MW solar plant to be built by a joint venture between Dubai Water and Electricity Authority and a consortium led by Saudi ACWA and Spain's TSK.
The –now 200 MW– plant will cost 1.2 billion dirham ($327 million / 277 million euro ) and represents Phase II at the Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum solar park, which is planned to install 1,000 MW when completed in 2030, with a total cost of $3.3 billion.
The plant, which is expected to come on line in April 2017, would be the largest such facility in the MENA region. This is a significant step forward for the emirate towards renewable energy projects, the current largest PV plant is just 13 MW.
Saeed Al Tayer, managing director of DEWA, has reportedly said the decision to double the planned capacity came after the offers received during the bidding process turned out to be greatly competitive, as well as an effort from Dubai to accelerate green energy projects.
“The price is very competitive, this is one thing, and - second thing - we would like to also increase the basket of renewables, (...) In order to increase, you have to accelerate; how to accelerate - by putting more green projects - and in the future you will see [that] more projects are coming.” said Al Tayer.
ACWA Power has won the tender over other 10 bidders and will build and operate the plant with a power purchase agreement for the next 25 years reportedly priced at $5,84 cents per kWh.
Vahid Fotuhi, president and founder of the Middle East Solar Industry Association, touted the project describing it as “hugely significant” and the largest of its kind in the region. “It blows away everything else and totally opens up the market for solar unlike ever before,” he said.