Thursday, October 24, 2013

Solar Park goes live, creates historical milestone

Dubai has made history this week by making its new Dh.120million worth Solar Power Station go live, to feed electricity harnessed from the sun into Dubai power grid, in the presence of leaders and energy officials as witness.

This is a major milestone achieved on way to sustainable development, strengthening Dubai’s power generating capacity, which will help the emirate on its journey to diversify energy sources.

The 13 megawatt solar project, with phase one of Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Solar Park spanning 280,000 square metre was unveiled by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai at Seih Al Dahal, located 50kms south of Dubai.

The project is undertaken by Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSCE), and operated by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), and is expected to generate 24mn kilowatts of power per year.

Announced in January 2012, the Solar Park is likely to generate 100 megawatts of power by the year 2030, and will be completed in several phases.

The Phase Two of the project was also launched this week, which is a 100 megawatt installation to be done under public-private partnership. The work on this phase will begin in six months and will be completed in three years time.

The Solar Park in Dubai forms part of Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, which aims to have an energy mix comprising five percent solar, 12 percent nuclear, 12 percent clean coal and 71 percent natural gas by 2030.  

This is the first milestone on way to achieve energy strategy. The plant will go a long way in establishing the trend for non-conventional energy resources in the region, and towards the year 2020, more than 1 percent of electricity will be generated through solar energy, said Saeed Mohammad al Tayer, Vice Chairman of DSCE and Managing Director of DEWA.

The sustainability programme includes constructing a self-sustaining solar-powered landmark tower at the park. Apart from building the infrastructure, the project aims to instil values of sustainability among local population, while also building local capacity.

In the next phase, DEWA and DSCE are jointly considering options to have rooftop solar installations that can help in further reducing dependency on fossil fuels.

Solar energy is the most abundant resource in UAE, and it is the best and most sustainable way to generate electricity in the region, and Mohammad bin Rashid Solar Park in Dubai has established new trend and landmark for the region.

The solar plant makes use of a combination of photovoltaic and concentrated solar power technologies. The phase one has 152000 photocells linked to 13 step-up transformers in inverter buildings. The plant enables carbon-dioxide emissions by 15,000 tonnes annually. On completion, the solar park will be one of the largest solar installations in the region.

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