Climate Action

World’s biggest solar CSP project being built in Dubai

Dubai is building the largest Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project in the world, officials announced on Thursday

  • 10 June 2016
  • William Brittlebank

Dubai is building the largest Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project in the world, officials announced on Thursday.

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) said the project will be operational within the next five years.

The new CSP 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, according to DEWA.

Concentrated solar power is generated using 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 is due to surpass a CSP tower in Morocco that has a power generating capacity of 150 MW, Dubai energy officials said.

Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO of DEWA, announced the project at a press conference at the Burj Khalifa mega-skyscraper (pictured).

Al Tayer pledged a cleaner, self-sufficient future for Dubai through renewable energy and said that the new CSP project will deliver inexpensive power at less than US₵8 per kilowatt-hour.

The project will be located at the same site as the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park and when both projects are completed they are expected to cut carbon emissions in Dubai by more than 6.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year.

DEWA has issued a call for tenders inviting international solar consultants to submit proposals on the first 200 MW phase of the project, Al Tayer said.

In an interview with Gulf News, the DEWA chief said that the benefit of using concentrated solar power is that it can be stored for eight to 12 hours after generation, helping to help power the state within the United Arab Emirates at night.

The first phase of the project is scheduled to be operational by 2021 and will “contribute to the happiness of society by making Dubai the city with the lowest carbon footprint in the world by 2050.”

At the press conference, Al Tayer told the media: “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 leadership to make Dubai number one globally, and our vision to become a sustainable, innovative world-class utility.”