First Solar has announced that it has signed an agreement to supply its high performance PV modules to power the 200MW AC second phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.
Earlier this year, a consortium led by ACWA Power and TSK was selected by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority to develop, construct, own and operate the independent power project. According to the consortium, the project’s tariff of 5.84 cents per kilowatt-hour establishes a new global benchmark, reducing the cost of solar electricity by over 20%.
Significantly, the utility scale solar plant will be the largest facility of its kind in the Middle East, when completed in early 2017. The plant will produce enough energy to power 30,000 average homes in the UAE and will displace over 469,650 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. The project will be powered by over 2.36m First Solar modules, compared to the 152,880 that were installed in the 13MWAC first phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. The plant will be built over an area of almost 4.5m square metres, sufficient to cover as many as 100 soccer pitches.
First Solar’s advanced PV modules have set the industry benchmark with over 10GW installed worldwide. Offering highly predictable energy in all climates and applications, the modules have been independently tested to pass accelerated life and stress tests beyond industry standards. With both, a superior temperature coefficient and superior spectral response, they have been independently certified for reliable performance in high temperature, high humidity, extreme desert and coastal environments.
Paddy Padmanathan, President and CEO, ACWA Power, said: “ACWA Power’s commitment to deliver reliable and sustainable electricity at the lowest KwH tariff is reflected clearly in the win it has secured in the second phase of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. The technology we plan to implement has a proven advantage over conventional solar panels, delivering more annual energy for the same nameplate watts under the specific project conditions of the DEWA project. The organic performance growth programme that First Solar is developing with their PV modules sets a benchmark in the PV industry, allowing us to benefit from a long-term reliable and durable power generation technology for projects of this scale.”
“We are confident that this milestone project will establish a new benchmark for the reliable, affordable and sustainable generation of solar energy in the Middle East and around the world,” commented Alfonso Targhetta, Procurement Managing Director and Board member, TSK. “By combining our engineering and construction capabilities with First Solar’s high performance modules, this project will help define how utility scale PV plants are developed throughout the region and beyond.”
“This project’s impact on the global energy transition cannot be overstated. It has effectively driven down the cost of solar electricity, marking a new milestone in solar PV’s evolution as a mainstream energy resource,” said Ahmed S. Nada, Vice President and Region Executive for the Middle East, at First Solar. “In this competitive environment, the decision to power the project with First Solar technology is testament to the ability of our high performance modules to reliably deliver energy, even in challenging operating conditions. In fact, with this win, First Solar will have earned the position of being the leading PV solutions provider in the Middle East, with a projected installed capacity of at least 270MW across the region by 2017.”
First Solar modules already power the 13MWAC first phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park and will be installed at the 52.5MWAC Shams Ma’an solar PV plant, currently under construction in Jordan and scheduled for completion in the second half of 2016.