Dubai to have world’s largest energy storage capacity by 2030

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park
Representational Image

Dubai is set to have the largest energy storage capacity in the world once the fourth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park currently managed by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) materializes.

At an energy storage capacity of 15 hours, the project will provide clean energy for 320,000 residences around the clock in the region and is expected to reduce 1.6 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year.

The $4.30 billion, 950MW Phase 4 which is constructed under the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model is the largest investment project in the world that combines Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) and photovoltaic solar power. The project consists of

  1. A 600MW parabolic basin complex with three 200MW units.
  2. A 100MW solar power tower which functions based on Molten Salt technology and
  3. A 250MW photovoltaic solar panel energy production unit.

The plant will be designed, build, and operated by a consortium led by DEWA and Saudi Arabian power plant developer ACWA Power. UAE’s state-owned utility firm will hold 51 percent of the company while ACWA Power and Chinese state-owned investment fund, Silk Road Fund will own 25 and 24 percent stake respectively.

Phase 4 of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is expected to be operational in stages starting from Q3 2021.

The project which is spread across 44 square kilometers has already broken several world records including;

  • The lowest Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE) of USD 7.3 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for the 700MW CSP and
  • USD 2.4 cents per kWh for the 250MW photovoltaic solar panels.

Concentrated Solar Power Technology

The project also features the world’s tallest solar power tower at 262.44 meters. The Molten Salt Receiver (MSR), a key component in the energy production process based on the concentrated solar power (CSP) technology sits on top of the solar power tower and functions as the core.

The module receives solar radiation and turns it into thermal energy. The MSR contains over 1,000 thin tubes that enable the absorption of sun rays and their transfer to the molten salt within these tubes.

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park

With a planned capacity of 5,000MW by 2030, the $13.61 billion Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is the largest single-site solar park in the world.

The total capacity of operational projects at the Solar Park, which uses photovoltaic solar panels, is 1,013MW. DEWA is creating an additional capacity of 1,850MW using solar panels and CSP.