The 950MW Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park Phase IV, the world’s largest dispatchable solar energy project, has reached financial close in UAE. The hybrid 700MW concentrated solar power (CSP) and 250MW photovoltaic (PV) project was implemented as an independent power producer project by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA). Mott MacDonald provided technical advisory services as part of the transaction consortium, which includes KPMG for financial and Ashurst for legal services, for procurement of Phase IV of the solar park.
The US$4.3bn transaction forms part of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, which aims to increase the share of clean energy in Dubai’s total power output to 25% by 2030 and 75% by 2050. DEWA and ACWA Power signed the power purchase agreement for the project in October 2018. It was awarded through a competitive bidding process with a world record levelised cost of electricity of USD7.3 cents per kW/h.
The project will feature a combination of three different technologies, CSP tower, CSP parabolic trough and PV. The thermal energy storage embedded in the CSP units (up to 15 full load equivalent hours) will enable operational flexibility to adapt to DEWA’s dispatch needs from base load generation to support during peak demand periods.
Mott MacDonald played a key role throughout project definition, preferred bidder selection phase and contract negotiation. The consultancy provided technical assistance from the feasibility study up to financial close, including during the development of the tender documents and evaluation of the technical elements of the bids.
The landmark project is the largest CSP project in the world and features the highest CSP tower. It also marks the largest ever recourse financing for a clean energy project without the involvement of any export credit agency or development finance institution.
Juan Saenz, Mott MacDonald's project manager, said: “Our role on this flagship project provides further evidence of our world-class capability in the CSP sector. We are proud of our contribution to the procurement of a solar plant that can compete with fossil fuel power generation in scale, flexibility of dispatch and generation costs, while also contributing to the decarbonisation of the grid and providing clean reliable energy. We look forward to the continuing development of the solar sector in UAE and globally.”