Dubai electricity utility Dewa has awarded a Dh1.437bn ($390mn) contract to a consortium of Austria’s Strabag and Andritz and Oman’s Ozkar for construction of the first pumped storage hydroelectric plant in the Gulf region. The 250MW-capacity plant will be built at Hatta, 135km southeast of Dubai city and is scheduled to begin commissioning in February 2024. The plant will use solar power to raise water from the existing Al Hattawi dam, which is 400ms above sea level, to a new reservoir that will be built 4km away and 300ms higher still. The water will be released to drive turbines to generate electricity when required (MEES, 11 November 2016).

Although Dewa is developing the world-beating 5GW MBR Solar Park 50km south of Dubai city at Seih al Dalal, it is also promoting small-scale solar projects such as Hatta and rooftop solar as well as the development of coal-fired power capacity (MEES, 14 June). (CONTINUED - 151 WORDS)