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Tue 1 May 2018 04:10 PM

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Dubai adds more solar power in major renewables push

Emirate inaugurates 200MW third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park

Dubai adds more solar power in major renewables push

Dubai has taken another step toward completing what it says will be the largest solar park of its kind, inaugurating a 200-megawatt facility with partners Electricite de France and Abu Dhabi-based renewables company Masdar.

The third and latest phase of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park will help Dubai toward its goal of generating 10 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2020. The Gulf Arab city-state is already operating the first two phases of the project and has broken ground on a fourth section.

Like several of its neighbors, Dubai relies on fossil fuels, including imported natural gas, to generate electricity, and it’s developing solar energy and other renewables to diversify supply.

Dubai is the second-largest sheikhdom in the UAE, a member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest producer, is pushing into renewables, as is Jordan and the UAE emirate of Abu Dhabi.

The 200-megawatt unit marks the first step of the Dubai solar park’s third phase, which will add 800 megawatts of generating capacity upon its completion by 2020, the emirate’s government said Tuesday in a statement.

EDF and Masdar will operate this phase together with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, the government-owned utility. Masdar and EDF said in June that they had completed financing.

The solar park, to be fully built by 2030, will spread across 214 square kilometers of desert and generate 5,000 megawatts from the sun - the biggest facility of its type, according to DEWA.

Saudi Arabia-based developer ACWA Power last year started a 200-megawatt plant at the site and is a partner in the park’s fourth phase.

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