World’s tallest Concentrated Solar Power tower completed in Dubai

Shanghai Electric completes Noor Energy 1 Concentrated Solar Power tower in Dubai.

Construction partners on the 950 MW Noor Energy 1 Concentrating Solar Power- Photovoltaic project in Dubai completed the 260-meter high receiver tower on January 9, Shanghai Electric, lead EPC contractor, said in a statement.

The $4.4 billion Noor Energy 1 solar thermal project will be the world’s largest CSP plant and includes a 100 MW CSP tower plant, three 200 MW parabolic trough CSP systems, 250 MW of PV capacity and 15 hours of molten salt CSP storage capacity.

Developed by Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power, the Dubai Electricity Water Authority (DEWA) awarded the project in 2017 at a record-low tariff of $73/MWh.

  Global levelized costs for solar, wind in 2010-2022

Source: IRENA’s ‘Renewable power generation costs in 2018’ report (May 2019).

The Noor Energy 1 project reached financial closure in March 2019. The cost will be met through $2.9 billion of debt and $1.5 billion of equity. DEWA is to provide $750 million, half of the project equity. Of the remaining half, ACWA Power will provide 51% and China’s Silk Road Fund 49%. In June 2019, the Silk Road Fund purchased a 49% stake in ACWA Power’s renewable energy business.

The project will include technologies from a wide range of European suppliers as well as U.S. group BrightSource.

The 100 MW CSP tower power plant at Noor Energy 1 is scheduled to be online by October. (Image credit: Shanghai Electric) 

Belgium’s CMI will supply the molten salt receiver for the tower plant and Rioglass will supply the heliostats, while BrightSource will supply the control systems for the tower plant section.

Spain’s Abengoa will supply the parabolic trough systems and Lointek will supply the integrated steam generation system and oil-salt thermal storage system. Germany’s Siemens will supply four steam turbine generators and auxiliary equipment for the parabolic trough and tower plants. Denmark’s Aalborg will supply steam generation technology for the parabolic trough section.

Shanghai Electric is faced with the challenge of minimizing costs while also meeting a demanding construction schedule. The plant will be brought online in phases in 2020-2022 and the first parabolic trough plant and central tower unit are scheduled to be completed by October 2020.