DEWA, ACWA, and Silk Road Fund reach financial close on 950MW CSP and PV solar park

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Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and a consortium led by Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power and Chinese government-owned Silk Road Fund, have achieved financial close on the 950MW fourth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.

The lending group to the project, which is spread between 700MW of concentrated solar power (CSP) and 250MW of PV, includes Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China, China Everbright Bank, China Minsheng Bank, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Commercial Bank International, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Natixis, Standard Chartered Bank and Union National Bank. Furthermore, Bank of China, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Emirates NBD Bank, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Mashreq Bank and Union National Bank have provided long-term loans.

The solar park is due to produce 5GW by 2030 with investments totalling AED50 billion (US$13.6 billion).

HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of DEWA, said: “This phase will provide clean energy for 320,000 residences and will reduce 1.6 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually. The project, which will cover an area of 44 square kilometres, achieved several world records. These include the world’s lowest CSP Levelised Cost of Electricity of US$7.3 cents per kilowatt-hour and the lowest Levelised Cost of Electricity for photovoltaic technology of 2.4 US cents per kilowatt-hour. The project will feature the tallest solar tower in the world at 260 metres and the largest thermal storage capacity of 15 hours; allowing for energy availability round the clock.”

Solar projects currently operational in the solar park have a capacity of 413MW, with another 1,550MW under implementation across three projects.

DEWA recently announced the 900MW fifth phase made up of solar PV, bringing the total capacity of the five phases announced so far to 2,863MW.

Mohammad Abdullah Abunayyan, chairman of ACWA Power, said: “Last year, in partnership with DEWA, we made a decision to expand the project’s production capacity from 700MW to 950MW through a hybrid Concentrated Solar and Photovoltaic plant, to ensure maximum productivity. Our use of the hybrid model is an indication of our marked expertise in the market, focusing on the way we have reduced costs for both technologies and marking yet another innovation. Noor Energy 1 would be capable of 15 hours of thermal energy storage – a great feat for renewables. Through this technology we would effectively be supplying energy from the sun both day and night.”

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