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HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum inaugurates second phase of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum inaugurates second phase of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park


HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai has inaugurated the second project of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. This project will be operational by April 2017. The Solar Park will generate 1,000 MW by 2020 and 5,000MW by 2030. His Highness also inaugurated the construction of DEWA Innovation Centre, which includes a number of research and development laboratories in clean energy and will oversee research and development projects, with a total investment of AED 500 million.HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and MD&CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) received His Highness and the guests.

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was accompanied by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority, HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, HE Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gargawi, Minister for Cabinet Affairs, HE Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, HE Abdulla Al Shaibani, Secretary General of the Dubai Executive Council, HE Khalifa Saeed Sulaiman, Director General of the Dubai Protocol Department, HE Ahmed bin Humaidan, Director General of Dubai Smart Government Department, HE Fatima Al Foora Al Shamsi, Assistant Undersecretary for Electricity, Clean Energy and Desalinated Water Affairs at the UAE Ministry of Energy, Eng. Ahmed Al Kaabi, Director of the Petroleum Economics Department, at the UAE Ministry of Energy, HE Ahmad Bin Shafar, CEO of Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (Empower), HE Mohammad Abunayyan, Chairman of ACWA Power, HE Majed Hamad Al Shamsi, Board Member of DEWA, and a host of senior officials from Dubai.

His Highness and the guests made a tour of the site and different departments in the Solar Park, which is the largest single-site solar project in the world. Its capacity will be 5,000MW by 2030, with total investment of AED 50 billion. This utility-scale project is the lead project in a series of promising projects that use renewable energy to generate electricity in Dubai.

“Launching the second project of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, marks the beginning of a new era of an economy that is based on environmental sustainability and clean energy. This supports the vision of His Highness for Dubai to be the city with the least carbon footprint in the world. This also supports the long-term National Green Economy for Sustainable Development initiative, launched by His Highness, to build a green economy in the UAE, and the Dubai Plan 2021 for Dubai to a smart and sustainable city whose environmental elements are clean, healthy, and sustainable. The park also affirms Dubai’s leading role in solar energy and creates a new sector in the region. Our wise leadership realises the importance of providing energy supplies and finding alternative solutions to traditional energy, and the importance of developing renewable and alternative energy, because it has a direct impact on the sustainable development,” said Al Tayer.

Al Tayer noted that DEWA, through the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, has contributed to launching the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy to provide 7% of Dubai’s energy from clean energy sources by 2020. It will increase this target to 25% by 2030 and 75% by 2050. Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 initially targeted the energy mix to be 71% from natural gas, 12% from nuclear and clean coal, and 5% from solar energy. After launching a tender for the second phase, DEWA has set a new record price tendered for solar photovoltaic energy, with a set tariff of 5.4 US cents per kWh. This led the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy to raise the targeted renewable energy mix in Dubai from 1% to 7% by 2020 and from 5% to 25% by 2030, which is a pioneering achievement that positions the UAE as a pioneer in the region in producing renewable and clean energy.

“The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park provides promising opportunities for Dubai. DEWA is working to provide solar energy to citizens and residents in Dubai by cooperating with the most efficient and capable stakeholder to guarantee a brighter future for everyone. The park is a pioneering sustainability project because it is not only a centre for generating electricity from solar energy, but also home to a research and development centre, and an innovation centre to support renewable energy technologies, energy efficiency, and an academy to equip staff and prepare generations to come,” added Al Tayer.

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, at Seih Al Dahal in early 2012. The first phase was successfully completed after one year, with a capacity of 13MW. Since the project was launched in October 2013, it has been able to produce clean energy and reduce carbon emissions and has been adopted by Dubai Executive Council as a model for clean development. The project, which covers 4.5 million square metres, by 2030 will contribute to reducing 4 million tonnes of carbon emissions each year. This will support the green initiatives and programmes adopted by Dubai Government to reduce carbon emissions.

The first phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park was adopted by the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, and is managed and operated by DEWA. It achieved impressive results early on, when its station produced huge amounts of electricity that surpassed forecasted results. The first phase received a considerable attention from the business and energy sectors since its launch. DEWA received several offers from international solar energy companies, reflecting the trust and interest from investors in large projects adopted by Dubai Government.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park will have an interactive innovation centre, equipped with the latest technologies in clean and renewable energy to enhance national energy skills, support business competiveness, develop renewable energy technologies, support the development process in the whole region, and encourage social awareness about renewable and sustainable energy.

The Solar Park includes a Research and Development Centre to conduct studies on industrial and social needs, and scientific research in renewable energy. It also acts as a link between researchers and developers to develop strategies for productive and innovative ideas. The Solar Park also has two test technologies for photovoltaic (PV) panels and for concentrated solar power (CSP). The first centre tests 30 types of PV panels from international manufacturers. The panels are studied, evaluated and tested for long-term reliability in local weather conditions. Researchers cooperate with international organisations, to study the impact of dust on PV equipment. These tests will help to develop the standards of PV products.

All of these elements contributed to DEWA wining the Best Sustainable Project of the Year in the UAE, at the 2014 MEED Quality Awards. This is the first time this award was given to a renewable energy project in the region. DEWA also won an award for Distinguished Technical Project, for phase 1 of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park at the 18th Dubai Government Excellence Programme Awards (DGEP).

The park will also house several world-class facilities, including two 400/132 kV substations rated at 570 megavolt-ampere (MVA), at a cost of AED 275 million. Work is being completed according to schedule: 50% of the construction is complete, and it will be inaugurated in Q4 of 2016. The station incorporates four parts. Key products to be supplied include eight 400 kV transformers and 11 gas-insulated switchgears (GIS). The second part has ten 132 kV transformers with GIS, three 400/132 kV transformers rated at 1,515 MVA and three 400/132 kV power transformers (ICT). The third part has a 132 kV transformer and 21 GIS. The fourth part is for control and protection.

The inauguration ceremony included a presentation about the park and its phases, the objectives of the initiative, and DEWA’s development projects that balance economic development with sustainable energy and a clean and safe environment. This includes the Sirb initiative: DEWA’s fleet of high-end drones. The initiative uses drone technology to support Dubai’s infrastructure and to contribute to providing efficient services. This initiative will greatly improve DEWA’s operational efficiency by accelerating operations, increasing safety during regular network testing and maintenance, and accurately detecting failures. It will also help DEWA to monitor generation, and conduct field surveys for new projects and new connections for buildings and facilities in Dubai. This will enhance customer trust in DEWA’s services and make cost-savings.

The drones provide early detection by using thermal imaging to identify overhead power lines. This limits risks, reduces costs, enables quick response times and ensures accuracy, making it easier to make informed decisions. The drones use state-of-the-art upgradable technologies such as high-definition cameras that are equipped with night-vision, lasers and GPS sensors, and can measure pressure, height, magnetic fields, and use ultrasound scanning.

To support the Smart City initiative launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to make Dubai the smartest city in the world, DEWA has launched three smart initiatives:

• Shams Dubai encourages building owners to install PV solar panels to produce electricity. The electricity generated is used on-site and the surplus is exported to DEWA’s grid. The Dubai Executive Council issued resolution number 46 for 2014 to put in place a comprehensive framework at the legislative level to connect electricity produced from solar power to the distribution system.

• Smart Applications through smart meters and grids: DEWA launched its smart grid strategy with a planned budget of AED 7 billion dirhams, to facilitate an efficient high-level infrastructure to support management of energy demand and to connect renewable energy resources. The smart grid includes demand-side management, asset management, distribution automation, substation automation, system integration, and smart meters.

• Green Charger establishes the infrastructure for electric vehicle charging stations in Dubai. DEWA is now building 100 vehicle charging stations in Dubai, it aims to increase the number of electric and hybrid cars in Dubai to 2% by 2020 and 10% by 2030.

Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network


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