DEWA, Masdar, tie up for sixth phase of landmark solar park

Phase five launched earlier this year
DEWA, Masdar, tie up for sixth phase of landmark solar park
Dubai’s Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is the world’s largest single-site solar park.

Dubai continues to set the bar for renewable energy initiatives with the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. Recently, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) inked an agreement with Abu Dhabi-based energy company Masdar. The partnership aims to build and operate the solar park’s sixth phase – the 1,800 megawatt (MW) that costs AED 5.51 bn ($1.5 bn).

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is the largest single-site solar park in the globe according to the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model. It is spread across an area spanning 77 square kilometers.

Reducing carbon emissions

The initial 13 MW phase of the solar park started its operations in October 2013. Earlier in June, DEWA inaugurated the 900 MW fifth phase.

“[The sixth] phase will power over half a million residences while reducing carbon emissions by 2.36 mn tons annually. All phases of this landmark project are expected to be completed by 2030, with a total investment of AED50 bn. We’re on track to achieve our ambitious goal – 100 percent clean energy for Dubai by 2050,” stated Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and ruler of Dubai witnessed the signing.

After the sixth phase, the project, as a whole, will reduce around 6.424 mn tons of carbon emissions every year. This phase will become operational gradually, with commencement expected starting the fourth quarter of 2024.

The park currently boasts a total production capacity of 2,427 MW, constituting 16.3 percent of Dubai’s total installed capacity. This percentage is set to rise to 24 percent by 2026. By 2030, it aims to reach a production capacity of 5,000 MW.

For a greener future

Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE’s minister of industry and advanced technology, hailed the project as another significant milestone for Masdar, where he also serves as its chairman.

“It is a testament to Masdar’s track record in pioneering clean energy projects as we continue to support the UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative. Ahead of our nation hosting COP28 later this year, it is vital that the world triples global renewable energy capacity by 2030 to keep the ambition of 1.5 degrees within reach. This landmark project demonstrates definitive action in our shared journey towards a cleaner, greener future,” he remarked. Dr. Al Jaber also sits as the COP28 president-designate.

Read more: Sheikh Mohammed: Hosting COP 28 will be UAE’s biggest event in 2023

For this project, DEWA previously won the Best Sustainable Project of the Year in the UAE. This marked the first time that such an accolade was bestowed upon a renewable energy initiative in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Apart from the Dubai solar park, the UAE also has another landmark solar power facility, the Noor Abu Dhabi. Its commercial operations began in April 2019, and it boasts a 1.2 gigawatt capacity and over 3.3 mn solar panels. It has since reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 4 mn metric tons, which is tantamount to planting 77 mn trees.

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