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)

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

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.

Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

NOTE: Comments posted on may be printed in the magazine Arabian Business

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: Quacky

great.... but not that great , they should involve the public to install solar panels on their houses and factories and by setting up a system to BUY back the power from their own solar systems .using technologies like the tie-in grid converter.
i guess its all about making thier own money and not by getting the public involved. i wonder now how much they are gonna jack up the prices? as you know PV is very expesnive

Posted by: Tariq

We congratulate to DEWA Management for inducting alternate entery source in UAE. its really a long lasting impact in UAE's economy & I personally appreciate the for such long terms planning by DEWA management, well done DEWA.

Let us know how we can get benefited in Pakistan since we are really crunched here in Pakistan due energey crises.

Posted by: Tehseen farooq

Tariq, pakistan is also blessed with this natural energy resource. Our policy makers dont have that forsightedness to tap this emence available resource in convert in to power energy. Once I visited DEWA in March, Mr. Tayer did share with me the plans of SCE to go for green energy. Pakistan is facing a huge gap between supply and demond which is widening every day. Short fall of 8000MW is realy a curse for Pakistani citizens. If we have a sincere and competent policy maker i am sure they would go for to address this most serious energy crises. Dr. Tehseen, Energy Consultant

Posted by: Taher

Good Project !... Dubai never failed to impress me ... we wish to see more of these in the ME ... as for the US company, congratulations ... make sure the project is delivered on time. All the best !

Posted by: Cyrus

Once the whole 48 SQ KM of solar park is completed, it remove heat from environment too, which would be welcomed side effect of using Solar energy in these climate. Note that the Sun power, if not harnessed and converted into electricity, then it would be released as heat in the environment. So, absorbing the energy and converting it into electricity, will eliminate equal amount of heat energy from the regions climate. So, Several mega projects like this by several Gulf countries, would be a great way to reduce temperature, which again will save power indirectly via reduction in cooling cost.

Great job and real happy to hear this....Well done Dubai

I hope there be some action in A/C condensation water capturing action. This would be an excellent source of zero salt water.

Posted by: Amused in Dubai

@Cyrus, I am afraid I have some bad news for you. The "heat" you are removing and turning into electricity will be used and, unfortunately and unless you have managed to prove the last 150 years of thermodynamics wrong, specifically the first and second laws of thermodynamic, will revert to the environment as heat.

But even if you approach was right, you are talking about covering with solar panels a 0.05% (five cents of a one percent of the total area of the UAE) with an efficiency of say 20% you would be removing a one in ten thousands part of the energy at over US$3bn cost. Barely something you could consider as an solution for AGW.

@AB it is really hard to make sense of the numbers.
In one line we are told it will "produce 1,000MW of clean energy", two paragraphs down we read about "The 13MW power plant" that " is expected to generate more than 22 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year" (what 5 hours of sun per day?)

Posted by: Jim

The US is currently driving the solar technological innovation. Dubai did well partnering with the Americans!

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Natural solution: Saudi's renewed plans meet growing energy demands

Natural solution: Saudi's renewed plans meet growing energy demands

Saudi Arabia has long toyed with the renewable energy sector...

Power to the people in Saudi Arabia

Power to the people in Saudi Arabia

As Saudi Arabia fights to control surging electricity demand...

The upstream movement: Oil producers must invest to avoid another crisis

The upstream movement: Oil producers must invest to avoid another crisis

While oil producers continue to debate a reduction in output...

Most Discussed