First Solar to build solar power plant in Dubai

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid signing the  solar scalablel modelSheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid signs the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park scalable model. (Image source: DEWA)First Solar has announced it is to construct a 13MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant in Seih Al Dahal, Dubai

Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) selected the company to construct the power plant, which will be located in the desert 50km south of Dubai.

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of DEWA, said, "The PV plant installation is a key step in the implementation of the energy diversification strategy adopted by the Supreme Council of Energy, in which solar energy is set to become part of Dubai’s energy portfolio.

"The strategy is based on Dubai’s growing energy requirements and aims to maintain security of supply."

Under the terms of the agreement, First Solar will provide engineering, procurement and construction services for the plant, as well as its thin-film PV modules.

The plant will be the first phase of the US$3.3bn Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park project, which is expected to cover 48 sq km and produce 1,000 MW of clean energy for the region by using both PV and solar thermal technology.

Jim Hughes, CEO of First Solar, stated, “We are delighted that DEWA has chosen First Solar to build the first phase of this flagship project, which illustrates our strategy to provide comprehensive solar power plant solutions in sustainable markets.”

First Solar said the 13MW power plant, which will cost an estimated US$34mn, is expected to generate more than 22mn kW hours of electricity per year, enough to meet the average annual electricity needs of more than 500 local households.

It is hoped that electricity generated by the power plant will displace more than 14,000 metric tons of CO2 annually, equivalent to removing 1,600 cars from the road every year.

The solar park, which is to be implemented by Dubai’s Supreme Council of Energy (SCE) and managed and operated by DEWA, forms part of the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030. The strategy aims to use renewable energy to generate one per cent of Dubai’s total power output by 2020 and five per cent by 2030.

First Solar recently opened an office in Dubai and will soon be establishing an office in Saudi Arabia.

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