The Dubai Water and Electricity Authority (DEWA) has reported that the third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (MBRAM) Solar Park has been commissioned. HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, inaugurated the 800 MW third phase of the park, which is the largest single-site solar park in the world being built at an investment of $13.6 billion (Dh50 billion).

The third phase was developed by French renewables company, EDF in collaboration with DEWA and the Abu Dhabi Future Group. An estimated investment of $944.6 million was utilised in the development of the third phase. It is projected to meet the energy needs of 240,000 residents in Dubai. It also uses single-axis solar tracking to maximize output. In fact, the facility is the first of its kind in the Mena region to use single axis solar tracking to increase energy generation. It also uses other innovative technologies including cleaning robots for photovoltaic panels to increase the plant’s efficiency.

The MBRAM solar park is expected to be the world’s largest single-site solar project with a target capacity of 5 GW by 2030. A total investment of $13.6 billion is expected to be incurred in the development of the solar park. The next phase will add a solar capacity of 950 MW at an investment of $4.3 billion under the independent power producer model. Once complete, it is also set to be the world’s largest thermal storage system of 15 hours and provide round-the-clock electricity. It is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2021. The fourth and fifth phase of the MBRAM solar park will be developed by ACWA power. 

The commissioning of the new capacity has increased the share of renewables in Dubai’s power mix to 9 per cent, 2 per cent higher than its target of 7 per cent by 2020. The solar power sector in Dubai has seen rapid progress. It is expected that an additional 12 GW of solar capacity will be developed in the region by 2025. The progress has been attributed to efficient auction mechanisms as well as policies to support low tariffs.