ACWA Power awarded 700 MW CSP fourth phase of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park

An ACWA Power led consortium has been awarded the fourth phase of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, by far the largest single-site CSP plant in the world, which will provide reliable and dispatchable electricity to the emirate during the day and throughout the night just as a fossil fuel power plant does. With a capacity of 700 MW, the project has set a new global record for the lowest levelised cost for renewable base load electricity at USD 7.3 cents per kilowatt hour in an IPP tender without the benefit of any subsidy including any carbon credit.

This plant which will be commissioned in stages with the first phase set for end of Q4 2020 will cover 3,750 hectares, the equivalent of more than 4,500 football fields mostly covered with mirrors concentrating the sunrays, and will feature a combination of a tower and a field of troughs, which will all collect heat and store that heat in molten salt medium to supply electricity on demand at all hours of the day and night, even when the sun is not shining.

Commenting on the announcement, ACWA Power Chairman Mr. Mohammad Abunayyan said, “The confirmation of our 700 MW CSP bid for the Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Solar Park represents a pivotal moment for the solar industry and the efforts in the region to reach a clean energy future. ACWA Power is proud to continue to be recognised as a partner of choice by DEWA and to support the efforts of making Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 a reality.”

Paddy Padmanathan, President & CEO of ACWA Power added: “This project is a game changer in our quest to decarbonize electricity generation by making available renewable energy at a price that competes with fossil fuel generated electricity without subsidy not just when the sun is shining but at any time of the day and night. This project at this scale and cost level is a cause for celebration not just for the renewable energy industry but for each and every person in the world who is concerned about preserving the planet for future generations. The visionary courage of the Government of the Emirate of Dubai has enabled ACWA Power to set the scene to not only make 100% of electricity some nations use through renewable energy but to do so at a lower cost than with fossil fuel alternatives. We are privileged and proud to be partnering with such pioneers as the Emirate of Dubai and the utility DEWA.”

Eng. Thamer Al Sharhan, Managing Director at ACWA Power, said: “with the launch of this landmark project, Dubai is a pioneering model in the region and worldwide in the application of transparency, fair competition, clear policies and legislation that catalyze investment all of which is what has enabled ACWA Power to deliver this pace setting tariff level for dispatchable renewable energy generated electricity. Winning this contract stresses ACWA Power’s capability to implement this giant project, denoting that whenever granted the opportunity to a Saudi company to compete with international companies, we will prove our worth and ability to implement and achieve.”

The power purchase agreement and the preparation to achieve financial close are already at an advanced stage to enable construction to commence in 2018. This renewable energy plant allows a saving of 2.4 Million tons.

It will also save half a million tons of natural gas per year and eliminate the need to import this gas paying foreign currency by substituting with clean and renewable energy based only on free available sun light as an input thus not only contributing to UAE’s commitments to the world in limiting carbon emissions but also in benefiting the economy through import substitution.

In South Africa, ACWA Power co-owns and operates the 50 MW Bokpoort CSP Project in the Northern Cape which, with 9.3 hours of thermal storage, delivers clean and reliable power to the grid day and night. ACWA Power is also the developer, co-owner and operator of the 100 MW Redstone CSP Project that was awarded preferred bidder having offered the lowest tariff under Round 3.5 of South Africa’s renewable energy programme and the 306 MW waste coal fired Khanyisa IPP Project that was awarded preferred bidder under Round 1 of the coal baseload programme again having offered the lowest tariff on this round.