US firm wins deal for $3.3bn Dubai solar park

First Solar picked by DEWA to build first phase of project to produce 1,000MW of clean energy
(Photo for illustrative purposes only)
By Andy Sambidge
Fri 19 Oct 2012 09:27 AM

US-based First Solar has won a contract from Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) to construct the first phase of the $3.3bn Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.

Under the terms of the agreement, First Solar will provide engineering, procurement and construction services for the 13 megawatt solar plant.

The Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is expected to eventually cover 48 sq km and produce 1,000MW of clean energy, First Solar said in a statement.

"The PV plant installation is a key step in the implementation of the energy diversification strategy adopted by the Supreme Council of Energy, in which solar energy is set to become part of Dubai's energy portfolio," said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of DEWA.

Jim Hughes, CEO of First Solar, added: "We are delighted that DEWA has chosen First Solar to build the first phase of this flagship project, which illustrates our strategy to provide comprehensive solar power plant solutions in sustainable markets."

The 13MW power plant, which is set to start operations by the end of next year, is expected to generate more than 22 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year, on average - enough to meet the average annual electricity needs of more than 500 households.

Electricity generated by the power plant on average will displace more than 14,000 metric tons of CO2 annually, equivalent to removing 1,600 cars from the road every year.

The solar park is to be implemented by Dubai's Supreme Council of Energy (SCE) and managed and operated by DEWA, the state-owned power company, as part of the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030.

First Solar recently opened an office in Dubai and is in an advanced stage of establishing an office in Saudi Arabia as well.

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