Developers to submit Dubai 1.8GW solar bids

5 June 2023

State utility Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (Dewa) has extended until 7 June the tender closing date for the contract to develop the 1,800MW sixth phase of Dubai's Mohammed bin Rashid Solar Park project.

Dewa issued the request for proposals for the solar photovoltaic (PV) independent power producer (IPP) contract in December and initially expected to receive bids by the end of May.

Abu Dhabi-based Masdar, Saudi utility Acwa Power and France's EDF are among those qualified to bid for the contract, as MEED previously reported.  

The state utility briefed bidders about the project in March.

The sixth package of the MBR Solar Park project is expected to be commissioned in phases between 2024 and 2026.

Dewa's transaction advisory team on the project includes UK-headquartered Ernst & Young (EY) as financial adviser and  Norway's DNV and UK-headquartered DLA Piper as technical and legal advisers, respectively.

MBR solar park

A total of 2,327MW of clean energy capacity, derived from solar PV and concentrated solar power plant (CSP) facilities at MBR Solar Park, is now operational.

This takes renewable energy's share of the state utility’s overall capacity of 14,817MW to 15.7 per cent.

MBR Solar Park project’s phases and construction statuses are as follows:

  • 13MW solar PV phase one: completed in 2013
  • 200MW solar PV phase two: commissioned in 2017
  • 800MW solar PV phase three: commissioned in 2020
  • 950MW hybrid CSP/solar PV phase four: first 217MW from the solar PV panels and 200MW from CSP using parabolic basins are connected to the Dewa electricity grid as of January, the rest is under construction 
  • 900MW solar PV phase five: 800MW operational, 100MW under construction

The complex's fourth phase features the word’s tallest solar power tower at 262.4 metres. On its completion, the project will have the largest thermal storage capacity in the world of 15 hours, allowing for energy availability around the clock, according to Dewa managing director and CEO Saeed Mohammed Al-Tayer

The solar park’s planned total production capacity of 5,000MW will require investments valued at $13.6bn when complete in 2030.

RELATED READ: GCC’s top renewable energy clients

Energy demand in Dubai reached 53,180 gigawatt-hours (GWh) in 2022, up 5.5 per cent compared to 50,401 GWh in 2021, Dewa said earlier this year.

This growth is half of what was achieved in 2021, at 10 per cent, which marked the emirate's resurgence from the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Al-Tayer said his agency will continue to contribute to developing an infrastructure that is among “the most efficient worldwide”, in line with Dubai’s economic agenda.

The Dubai Economic Agenda 2033 (D33) aims to double the size of Dubai’s economy over the next decade and consolidate its position among the top three global cities.

The Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 and the Dubai Net Zero Carbon Emissions Strategy 2050 aim to provide 100 per cent of Dubai’s total power production capacity from clean energy sources by 2050.

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Jennifer Aguinaldo
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