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Dubai sets out to achieve solar pricing record at Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.

Dubai is setting out to achieve another solar pricing record at Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.

Saeed Al Tayer, the managing director and chief executive of Dubai Electricity and Water Auth­ority (Dewa), said that the utility would build the largest concentrated solar ­power (CSP) plant in the world.

The utility has released a tender for international CSP advisory companies for the first 200 megawatt phase out of a total 1 gigawatt.

The solar park will have a total capacity of 5GW by 2030 and this new phase will be based on CSP tower technology, said Mr Al Tayer. “There will be a thermal storage capability that will store energy for up to 12 hours on a daily basis,” he said.

The previous phases of the ­solar park have all used solar photovoltaic (PV) technology. Phase two set a world record for low bidding price and the 800MW third phase has already had further record-breaking bids submitted.

Switching from PV technology to CSP creates another opening for Dubai to lead the solar world and expand its local solar manufacturing sector.

While the cost of solar PV panels has dropped by 75 per cent in the five years to 2014 with more reductions expected, CSP remains a more expensive choice. Unlike PV, the cheaper technology, CSP has storage cap­abilities, which means energy can be used at night. Mr Al Tayer said he expects that Dubai will achieve CSP ­prices at about 8 US cents per kilowatt hour.

The lowest bid so far submitted in the region for CSP is for Morocco’s Noor II and III projects at 15.67 cents per kWh, more than five times higher than the lowest submitted price for PV in Dubai.

Courtesy: The National

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