Dubai will soon boast of having the largest solar park in the world, as Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park has got a new 700-megawatt solar extension. The contract to build the extension was awarded recently.
Another attraction will be a 260 metre (853-foot) solar tower which will be the tallest in the world, standing in the centre of the solar park. The additional construction will give the park the ability to generate 5,000 megawatts by 2030 after construction is completed. Following the construction, the solar park will cover around 83 square miles, and be capable of reducing carbon emissions by 6.5 million tons per year.
The solar park generates its power using numerous lenses and reflectors which concentrate the sun’s rays to heat fluid, which produce steam and drive a turbine. This approach is more flexible than regular photovoltaic solar plants.
The solar park became functional in 2013, with a meagre 13-megawatt solar first phase. Earlier this year, the second 200-megawatt phase became operational, while a third 800-megawatt phase will start operations by 2020, when the newly announced fourth phase will begin construction.
The fourth phase construction has been awarded to a consortium consisting of Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power and China’s Shanghai Electric.
Commenting on the development, Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), said, “Our focus on renewable energy generation has led to a drop in prices worldwide, and has lowered the price of solar power bids in Europe and the Middle East. This was evident when we received the lowest CSP project cost in the world.”
When the 700-megawatt phase is completed, Dubai will cement its status as being home to the world’s largest single-site solar park.