By Andy Sambidge
State utility awards company contract to build substation to integrate power from the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park
Swiss power firm ABB has won an order worth around $55 million from Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) to build a substation that will integrate power from the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park.
The order was awarded in the third quarter of 2014 and is for a gas-insulated switchgear substation that will enhance transmission capacity, boost power supplies and strengthen the reliability of the grid, ABB said in a statement.
The 100 megawatt (MW) Phase II of the solar power plant in Seih Al Dahal, about 50km south of Dubai, is scheduled to commence generation in 2017.
The solar park is one of the biggest renewable energy projects in the Middle East and North Africa. It is expected to cover an area of more than 40 sq km and produce 1,000 MW of clean energy when completed in 2030.
It will support the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, under which natural gas is expected to contribute 71 percent of electricity, followed by nuclear (12 percent), clean coal (12 percent) and solar (5 percent).
“The substation will help increase transmission capacity and deliver clean solar power to meet growing demand for electricity in the region,” said Claudio Facchin, head of ABB’s Power Systems division. “We are pleased to help the UAE strengthen its power network and increase the use of renewable energy.”
As part of the turnkey contract, ABB is responsible for the design, installation, commissioning and start-up of the plant.
“DEWA works to enhance the efficiency of its network and establishes pivotal projects to achieve the highest standards of efficiency and reliability,” said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, DEWA’s managing director and CEO.
“This forms the basis of our cooperation with ABB, which has a record of innovation in renewable energy technologies, sustainable transport and energy efficiency.”
The global capacity of solar photovoltaic systems is growing fast. According to the International Energy Agency, it rose by 34 percent to 137 gigawatts (GW) in 2013 and is set to expand to 403 GW in 2020.
The UAE is leading the deployment of solar power in the Middle East. Solar Impulse 2, a project supported by ABB, announced last month that it will start its attempt to make the first solar-powered flight around the world from the UAE in 2015.