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Dubai expands design of $4bn MBR Solar Park

The change will increase energy production capacity at the massive solar power park by more than a third

Phase 4 of Dubai's MBR Solar Park will be expanded.
Phase 4 of Dubai's MBR Solar Park will be expanded.

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) will expand Phase 4 of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park (MBR Solar Park), increasing its energy capacity by 35% through the installation of extra photovoltaic panels.

Dewa's power purchase agreement with Saudi Arabia's Acwa Power-led consortium was amended through an agreement signed on 3 November 2018. The amendment will see the addition of 250MW of solar panels to the photovoltaic farm.

Phase 4's total capacity will increase by more than third as a result of the design change, rising from 700MW to 950MW. It also brings the total investment in the project to approximately $4.3bn (AED16bn).

The fourth phase is the largest investment using concentrated solar power on a single site, according to Dewa, which added that the project follows an independent power producer (IPP) model.

The project will also boast the world's tallest solar tower, which will stand 260m-tall, as well as the largest thermal energy storage capacity in the world, ensuring MBR Solar Park has the ability to generate electricity 24 hours per day.

READ: Progress of Dubai's MBR Solar Park 700MW Phase 4 inspected

Built in phases, the solar park is the cornerstone of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy as the emirate looks to shift towards clean energy. Phase 1 has been operational since 2013, Phase 2 began in March 2017, and Dewa expects Phase 3 to kick off in 2020, with the fourth phase's operation starting toward the end of 2020.

HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, said the expansion of MBR Solar Park strengthens the UAE's “leadership in the field of sustainable development and provides another impetus to our clean energy strategy.”

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Construction Week - Issue 745
Jun 30, 2019