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Dubai Ruler inaugurates 200MW first stage of MBR Solar Park Phase 3

The second and third stages of Phase 3 will each have a capacity of 300MW, and are expected to be completed in 2019 and 2020 respectively

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has inaugurated the first stage of the 800MW Phase 3 of the MBR Solar Park.
HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has inaugurated the first stage of the 800MW Phase 3 of the MBR Solar Park.

The first stage of the 800MW Phase 3 of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park (MBR Solar Park) has been inaugurated.

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, presided over the inauguration of the 200MW project in a ceremony held on 30 April, 2018.

Based on the independent power producer (IPP) model, the project is being developed by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), in partnership with a consortium led by Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) and France’s EDF Energies Nouvelles, an EDF Group subsidiary.

READ: Ground broken on $3.8bn Phase 4 of Dubai's MBR Solar Park

The second and third stages of Phase 3 will each have a capacity of 300MW, and are expected to be completed in 2019 and 2020 respectively.

In his opening remarks at the inauguration, DEWA’s managing director and chief executive officer, HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, said: “Today marks the commissioning of the first stage of the third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.

“This phase is a key milestone and shows our strong belief in the role of clean energy in shaping a sustainable future. This supports the UAE’s efforts to strengthen its leading global position in clean energy through such major projects.”

According to Al Tayer, Dubai’s adoption of the IPP model has helped the emirate “achieve industry-defining world records”.

He continued: “These have reduced solar electricity tariffs for large solar projects and the world's biggest investments, to generate positive economic returns. The UAE Vision 2021, the Dubai Plan 2021, and the Clean Energy Strategy 2050 also support our focus on living in a world powered by clean and renewable energy."

At a rate of 2.99 US cents per kilowatt hour, Phase 3 of the solar park boasts “the lowest levelised cost of energy in the world”, said Al Tayer, noting that the inauguration of the 200MW stage 1 has upped the contribution of solar energy to Dubai’s total installed capacity to 4%.

"This solar plant is the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa, with an advanced solar tracking system to increase generation efficiency,” Al Tayer said, adding that the project also uses more than 800,000 self-cleaning solar cells.

Citing another achievement of the project, he revealed that work on the solar park has now logged more than 2.4 million hours without a lost-time incident (LTI).

Meanwhile, Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar, commented: "Masdar and DEWA have played an active role in enhancing the cost efficiency and productivity of renewable energy by deploying the latest advances in technology.

READ: EPC contract signed for $3.9bn Phase 4 of Dubai's MBR Solar Park

"Solar power complements conventional energy in a relationship that makes perfect economic sense in this region, given the number of clear sunny days in the year, by helping to reduce energy costs through peak shaving."

Al Jaber noted that a look at the projects currently under development in the UAE and Saudi Arabia would show that the region, known for leading the traditional energy sector, is now playing a key role in the development of renewables.

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