Dubai electricity and water utility Dewa has announced financial close for the 950MW fourth phase of the MBR Solar Park, under construction 50km south of Dubai city. Dewa estimates the cost of the project at AD15.8bn ($4.3bn) and that for the whole 5GW park – due for completion in 2030 – at AED50bn ($13.6bn). Phase-4 is scheduled to begin commercial operations in 2021. It will be the first in the park to incorporate Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) technology, which is much more expensive to build than the solar photovoltaic (PV) deployed in earlier phases, but more reliable for baseload electricity supply as it incorporates storage.

The project is being built by Saudi private developer Acwa Power and China’s Shanghai Electric, which originally won a bid for 700MW of CSP capacity that was later amended by Dewa to include 250MW of PV (MEES, 9 November). China’s state Silk Road Fund is providing the finance. Dewa recently issued a request for qualification (RFQ) for developers to build and operate the 900MW fifth phase of the solar park, to be built in stages that will start up from 2Q 2020 (MEES, 8 March). (CONTINUED - 187 WORDS)