Dubai: The largest Concentrated Solar Power (CPS) project to be built on a single site in the world will begin power generation in Dubai within the next five years, officials announced on Thursday.
The long view is that the new CPS site will generate 1,000 megawatts (MW) of power by 2030 as part of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy to generate 75 per cent of Dubai’s power from clean energy by 2050.
Concentrated solar power is generated by circular rings of solar mirrors called heliostats that direct sunlight into a central collection tower where the sun’s rays power a steam turbine to generate electricity.
The project will surpass the existing world’s largest CPS tower in Morocco that has a power generating capacity of 150MW, senior energy officials said.
Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa), announced the project at a press conference at Burj Khalifa, pledging a cleaner, self-sufficient future for Dubai through renewable energy.
The new CPS project, Al Tayer said, will deliver inexpensive power at less than 8 US cents per kilowatt hour as it is generated from the site to be located at the existing Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.
The solar project and solar park when completed is expected to slash carbon emissions in Dubai by more than 6.5 million tonnes of harmful CO2, helping Dubai and the UAE meets its commitment to the Paris Agreement to keep global warming temperature increases below 2 degrees Celsius this century.
Al Tayer said that Dewa has issued a call for tenders inviting international solar consultants to submit proposals on the first 200MW phase of the project.
He told Gulf News in an interview after the announcement that the benefit of using concentrated solar power is that it can be stored for eight to 12 hours after generation which can help power the emirate through the night hours.
The first phase of the new CPS project should be operational by 2021, Al Tayer said, and will “contribute to the happiness of society by making Dubai the city with the lowest carbon footprint in the world by 2050”.
“Today’s announcement of the first CSP project will be followed by other major projects to diversify Dubai’s energy mix. This will contribute to achieving the vision or our wise leadship to make Dubai number one globally, and our vision to become a sustainable, innovative world-class utility,” Al Tayer told those gathered at the launch.
Hadi Tahboub, vice-president — Programmes Director of Middle East Solar Industry Association, told Gulf News said the new project puts Dubai one step closer to becoming the world leader in solar power generation.
“Dubai is taking the gutsy step of fully embracing renewable energy,” said Tahtoub. “Dubai is showing people how it is done.”
Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050
The aim of the clean energy strategy is to increase the amount of renewable energies used to power Dubai’s electricity demand while reducing fossil fuel use by 2050:
• 7 per cent of total power output from clean energy by 2020
• 25 per cent of total power output from clean energy by 2030
• 75 per cent of total power output from clean energy by 2050