ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has won an order worth around $55 million from Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA), the leading power utility in United Arab Emirates (UAE), to build a substation that will integrate power from the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park. The order was awarded in the third quarter of 2014.
The gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) substation will enhance transmission capacity, boost power supplies and strengthen the reliability of the grid. The 100 megawatt (MW) Phase II of the solar power plant in Seih Al Dahal, about 50 kilometers (km) south of Dubai, is scheduled to commence generation in 2017.
The solar park is one of the biggest renewable energy projects in the Middle East and North Africa. It is expected to cover an area of more than 40 square kilometers and produce 1,000 MW of clean energy when completed in 2030. It will support the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, adopted by the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy to diversify the energy mix, under which natural gas is expected to contribute 71 percent of electricity, followed by nuclear (12 percent), clean coal (12 percent) and solar (5 percent).
“The substation will help increase transmission capacity and deliver clean solar power to meet growing demand for electricity in the region,” said Claudio Facchin, head of ABB’s Power Systems division. “We are pleased to help the UAE strengthen its power network and increase the use of renewable energy.”
As part of the turnkey contract, ABB is responsible for the design, installation, commissioning and start-up of the plant. Key products to be supplied include eight bays of 400 kilovolt (kV) and 10 bays of 132 kV GIS, two 132/400 kV power transformers rated at 570 megavolt-ampere (MVA), as well as the protection system, automation and control system, surveillance and communication. The substation will also be IEC 61850 enabled to support open communications automation and protection.
“DEWA works to enhance the efficiency of its network and establishes pivotal projects to achieve the highest standards of efficiency and reliability,” said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, DEWA’s Managing Director and CEO. “This forms the basis of our cooperation with ABB, which has a record of innovation in renewable energy technologies, sustainable transport and energy efficiency. DEWA supports the vision of Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to enhance Dubai’s role as a global hub for trade, finance, tourism and green economy.”
The global capacity of solar photovoltaic systems is growing fast. According to the International Energy Agency, it rose by 34 percent to 137 gigawatts (GW) in 2013 and is set to expand to 403 GW in 2020.
The UAE is leading the deployment of solar power in the Middle East. Solar Impulse 2, a project supported by ABB, announced last month that it will start its attempt to make the first solar-powered flight around the world from the UAE in 2015. ABB’s heritage of technology innovation in renewables, sustainable transportation and energy efficiency makes it an ideal partner for Solar Impulse 2.