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Mon 19 Mar 2018 07:56 PM

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Sheikh Mohammed launches phase 4 of giant Dubai solar park

Dubai ruler says clean and renewable energy is key to sustainable development in the UAE

Sheikh Mohammed launches phase 4 of giant Dubai solar park

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Monday broke ground on the 700MW fourth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the biggest concentrated solar power (CSP) project in the world.

He said that developing the UAE’s infrastructure is a top priority for the leadership and vital to raising the country’s global competitiveness, adding that the country is a pioneer in transforming its energy sector to one based on solar power and clean energy.

“We will continue pursuing ambitious investments with an emphasis on projects that have a positive impact on people’s lives. Clean and renewable energy is key to sustainable development and the UAE has set an example for its rapid adoption,” said Sheikh Mohammed in a statement.

He added: “We have developed a sustainable infrastructure that will serve new generations. This infrastructure has been built by young Emiratis who will lead our country through the next phase of growth. We are proud of our nation’s advancements in clean energy and green economy. The country is reaping the fruits today of the strong planning that we initiated years ago.”

The project will generate 700MW of clean energy at a single site and features the world’s tallest solar tower measuring 260 metres and the world’s largest thermal energy storage capacity. It will provide clean energy to over 270,000 residences in Dubai, reducing 1.4 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year.

The project, which features an investment of AED14.2 billion, has achieved the world’s lowest levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) of 7.3 US cents per kilowatt hour (kW/h).

HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) said: “Today’s achievement supports Sheikh Mohammed’s directives to expedite the pace of clean and renewable energy projects, in order to secure a happy future and enhance the quality of life for our future generations in an economy that doesn’t rely on oil."

The Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 aims to provide 75 percent of Dubai's total power output from clean sources by 2050.

“Achieving these ambitious targets will require more than 42,000MW of clean and renewable energy by 2050. This project is one of the most important projects that will contribute to these needs,” Al Tayer added.

He said the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park will provide Expo 2020 Dubai with a dedicated capacity of 464MW of clean energy. This will be the first Expo in the world to be completely powered by clean energy.

It is the largest single-site solar park in the world and will generate 1,000MW by 2020 and 5,000MW by 2030. The 13MW photovoltaic first phase became operational in 2013. The 200MW photovoltaic second phase of the solar park was launched in March 2017. The 800MW photovoltaic third phase will be operational by 2020, and the first stage of the 700MW CSP fourth phase will be commissioned in the fourth quarter of 2020.

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