Phase 1 of Dubai's $3.3bn solar park goes live

First phase of Mohammed Bin Rashid Solar Park is part of UAE's bid to diversify energy supplies
Phase 1 of Dubai's $3.3bn solar park goes live
(Photo for illustrative purposes only)
By Andy Sambidge
Tue 22 Oct 2013 02:29 PM

Phase one of Dubai's $3.3bn Mohammed Bin Rashid Solar Park went live on Tuesday as part of a push to diversify energy supplies in the UAE.

The 13-megawatt photovoltaic plant is the biggest of its type in the Middle East and North Africa, Saeed Al Tayer, the head of Dubai’s state utility, said in a statement.

First Solar, the biggest US solar-panel manufacturer, built the facility which is expected to generate 24 million kw of power per year - enough to meet the average annual electricity needs of more than 500 households.

"This plant represents an important step in the implementation of the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 to diversify Dubai's energy mix. For the first time, we are harnessing the sun to power growth and prosperity in the emirate, which is a significant achievement," said Al Tayer, CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority.

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 being implemented by Dubai's Supreme Council of Energy (SCE) and managed and operated by DEWA, as part of the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030.

It is expected to eventually cover 40 sq km and produce 1,000MW of clean energy for the national grid using both PV and solar thermal technology.

Dubai is targeting by 2030 to generate 5 percent of its electricity from renewable energy and 12 percent from coal, while buying an additional 12 percent of its power from nuclear reactors planned in neighboring Abu Dhabi.

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