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Dubai's Dewa to build AI-fitted virtual power plant with Enbala

The plant's smart network will comprise solar energy, battery storage, and flexible energy loads and feed the emirate's grid

Dewa's innovation hub is located within MBR Solar Park.
© Dubai Media Office
Dewa's innovation hub is located within MBR Solar Park.

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) has teamed up with Canada's Enbala to build the region’s first virtual power plant (VPP), powered by artificial intelligence (AI), to expand the emirate's renewable energy integration capabilities.

Dewa said the VPP will function as as a smart network that will “increase the visibility” of the emirate's distributed energy resources.

Making mixed energy sources easier to navigate will help Dewa maximise the value of these varied streams by providing grid services such as peak shaving, frequency regulation, and energy balancing.

The VPP's smart network will be made up of solar energy, battery storage, and flexible energy loads. It will aggregate these energy sources to create a single conventional power plant that supplies energy to the emirate’s grid.

A brainchild of research between Enbala and Dewa’s research and development arm, studies for the VPP were carried out at Dewa’s innovation hub, located at the multibillion-dollar Mohammed Bin Rashid al Maktoum Solar Park (MBR Solar Park).

MBR Solar Park is Dewa’s flagship renewable energy project, designed to help the authority influence energy generation processes for the future.

Commenting on the AI-powered VPP, HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director and chief executive officer of Dewa, the project is in line with the agency's vision to “become a globally-leading sustainable, innovative corporation”.

He added: “We will do this by keeping pace with the fourth industrial evolution and adopting innovative disruptive technologies to anticipate and shape the future of energy.

“The [VPP] will increase renewable energy integration capabilities, supporting the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to produce 75% of Dubai's total energy from clean energy sources,” Al Tayer added, according to a Dewa statement.

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Construction Week - Issue 749
Sep 15, 2019