First Solar has signed an agreement to supply its high efficiency PV modules to power the 200 MWac second phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. The utility scale solar power plant will be the largest facility of its kind in the Middle East when completed in early 2017.
Earlier this year, a consortium led by ACWA Power, a water and power developer, owner and operator based in Saudi Arabia, and TSK, a Spanish engineering and construction company, was selected by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) to develop, construct, own and operate the independent power project. According to the consortium, the project’s tariff of US$5.84 cents per kWh establishes a new global benchmark, reducing the cost of solar electricity by over 20%.
The project will be powered by over 2.36 million First Solar modules, compared to the 152,880 that were installed in the 13MWAC first phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. The plant will be built over an area of almost 4.5 million square meters, sufficient to cover as many as 100 soccer pitches. When fully operating, the plant will produce enough energy to power 30,000 average homes in the UAE and will displace over 469,650 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year.
Paddy Padmanathan, President and Chief Executive Officer, ACWA Power said, “ACWA Power’s commitment to deliver reliable and sustainable electricity at the lowest kWh tariff is reflected clearly in the win it has secured in the second phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. The technology we plan to implement has a proven advantage over conventional solar panels, delivering more annual energy for the same nameplate watts under the specific project conditions of the DEWA project.”
First Solar has installed over 10GW of solar PV modules worldwide, ant its modules have been independently tested to pass accelerated life and stress tests beyond industry standards. With both a superior temperature coefficient and superior spectral response, they have been independently certified for reliable performance in high temperature, high humidity, extreme desert, and coastal environments.
“This project’s impact on the global energy transition cannot be overstated. It has effectively driven down the cost of solar electricity, marking a new milestone in solar PV’s evolution as a mainstream energy resource,” said Ahmed S. Nada, Vice President and Region Executive for the Middle East at First Solar.
First Solar modules already power the 13MWac first phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park and will be installed at the 52.5MWAC Shams Ma’an solar PV plant, currently under construction in Jordan and scheduled for completion in the second half of 2016. With the 200MW project, First Solar projects at least 270MW of installations across the region by 2017.