First Solar awarded contract for 13 MW MENA solar power plant

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) awarded the first phase of Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Power Plant to the US-based First Solar Inc.

The contract to construct the first phase of Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, a 13 megawatt (MWDC) solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant in Dubai was awarded to US-based First Solar Inc. by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), the Authority announced in a press release.

Under the terms of the agreement, First Solar will provide engineering, procurement and construction services, as well as its advanced thin-film PV modules.

Awarding of the contract for Phase-1 of the landmark project is part of DEWA’s efforts to achieve the vision of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice- President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to promote the sustainable future development of Dubai. Shaikh Mohammed launched the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park early this year, as part of the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 to diversify energy sources so that 1% of Dubai’s total power output will be generated using renewable energy by 2020 and 5% by 2030, DEWA said.

“DEWA has awarded the contract to M/S First Solar Inc. for the construction of the first phase of the project, the substation and connection to the grid. DEWA received six bids in response to the tender, issued on 26 June 2012, for the construction of the solar Photovoltaic power plant. The high quality bids were received from reputable Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Contractors from across the globe. The project is scheduled to be completed by October 2013,” DEWA said.

“The PV plant installation is a key step in the implementation of the energy diversification strategy adopted by the Supreme Council of Energy, in which solar energy is set to become part of Dubai’s energy portfolio. The strategy is based on Dubai’s growing energy requirements and aims to maintain security of supply in the Emirate of Dubai,” said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.

“The total cost of the project is AED124 Million for the installation of the 13 MW photovoltaic power plant, including the engineering, procurement and construction of solar plant, a 33 KV substation and connection to DEWA’s Grid network. The plant will be constructed as a partnership project with the investment and ownership shared between six Dubai Supreme Council of Energy member entities: DEWA, DM, DPE, DUBAL, DUSUP and ENOC,” said Al Tayer.

Al Tayer expressed satisfaction at the number of bids received from world organizations in this vital field, which clearly reflects investors’ interest in such projects in Dubai.

Since the announcement of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the project has gained a huge interest from the business and energy sector. Other projects to build solar power plants following the first phase of the Solar Park will come in place to add up the total capacity of 1,000 MW on completion of the Solar Park project. With the existing regulatory and legislative frameworks in Dubai that permit partnerships from private sector in power production projects in the Emirate, several global developers showed their concern to invest in developing and implementing the projects of the park, according to DEWA.