Ground has been broken on the 700 megawatt (MW) fourth phase of Dubai's Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park (MBR Solar Park).
Phase 4 has received an investment of $3.87bn (AED14.2bn), with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and ACWA Power co-developing the project, and Shanghai Electric involved as engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor.
Stage 1 of the 700MW CSP fourth phase will be commissioned in Q4 2020.
The Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, broke ground on Phase 4 of the world's largest concentrated solar power (CSP) project.
Being developed through the independent power producer (IPP) model, the project will generate 700MW of clean energy at a single site.
Key features of the development include the world’s tallest solar tower at 260m, and the world’s largest thermal energy storage capacity, which will provide clean energy to more than 270,000 residences in Dubai.
The project will use two technologies for the production of clean energy – 600MW parabolic basin complex and 100MW from the solar tower – over a total area of 43km2.
Among the notable aspects of the project is its levelised cost of electricity (LCOE), valued at $0.073 per kilowatt hour (kW/h), marking a global achievement for the UAE.
Commenting on the project, HH Sheikh Mohammed said that the UAE was developing a new model for sustainability.
He added: "We will continue pursuing ambitious investments with an emphasis on projects that have a positive impact on people’s lives.
"Clean and renewable energy is key to sustainable development, and the UAE has set an example for its rapid adoption."
HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director and chief executive officer of DEWA, remarked: "The [MBR] Solar Park will provide Expo 2020 Dubai with a dedicated capacity of 464MW of clean energy.
"This will be the first expo in the world to be completely powered by clean energy.
"I would like to thank our partners in the consortium comprising Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power and the Silk Road Fund, in collaboration with China’s Shanghai Electric as the main contractor, for their efforts and contributions in achieving our ambition to harness the sun."
The MBR Solar Park is the world's largest single-site facility of its kind, and will generate 1,000MW by 2020 and 5,000MW by 2030.
Phase 1 of the project, with a photovoltaic capacity of 13MW, became operational in 2013, and its 200MW photovoltaic second phase was launched in March 2017.
The project's 800MW photovoltaic third phase will be operational by 2020, Dubai Media Office reported.