Phase 3 of MBR Solar Park to begin operations in April 2020

Current work focuses on operational preparations to evaluate the substation’s readiness; followed by pilot operational tests

Phase 3 of MBR Solar Park to begin operations in April 2020
Phase 3 of MBR Solar Park to begin operations in April 2020

The 800MW Phase 3 of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park (MBR Solar Park) – which is the world’s largest single-site solar park based on the independent power producer (IPP) model – will be operational in April 2020, with construction progressing according to schedule, according to the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA).

The managing director and chief executive officer of DEWA, HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, visited the MBR Solar Park to inspect the construction progress on the site, which is projected to have a planned capacity of 5,000MW by 2030, with investments of up to $13.6bn (AED50bn).

The current work focuses on operational preparations to evaluate the readiness of the substation. After the primary tests, the substation will undergo pilot operational tests.

The photovoltaic section of the solar park is being build by DEWA, in partnership with a consortium led by Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) and EDF Group, through its subsidiary EDF Énergies Nouvelles, in three stages.

The 200MW first stage began operations in May 2018, followed by the 300MW second stage becoming operational in August 2018.

The solar plant comprises an advanced solar tracking system that is capable of increasing generation efficiency by 20% to 30%, compared to fixed installations, making it the first of its kind in Middle East and North Africa region.

DEWA has already 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 2.99 cents per kilowatt-hour, using the IPP model. The third stage will also witness solar modules that use robots to maintain efficiency.

The solar power projects currently operational in the solar park have a capacity of 713MW with a planned capacity of 1,013 MW by April 2020.

In addition, DEWA is implementing four more projects with a capacity of 2,150MW at the solar park, bringing the total capacity of the current five phases to 2,863MW.

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