Dubai expands solar park, bringing total investment to $4.3bn
One of the largest concentrated solar power projects in the world is about to get even bigger in its fourth phase of development, it has been announced.
The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority has agreed to add a further 250MW capacity to the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, marking a 35% increase in energy capacity and bringing the total to 950MW.
This development brings total investment in the project up to $4.3bn. The park forms an important part of the UAE’s goal to generate 25% of its energy from clean resources by 2020 and 75% by 2030. As a whole, it is hoped the park will total 5GW installed capacity by 2030.
The fourth phase in the project is being led by Acwa Power, a Saudi Arabian company which develops, invests in, co-owns and operates several power generation projects across the MENA region. It has a total of 49 assets across 11 countries and employs over 3,500 staff.
The Dubai Government has stated that the electricity produced by this phase will cost just $0.024 per hour, which will be one of the lowest prices in the world.
HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, said that the expansion strengthens the country’s “leadership in the field of sustainable development” as well as providing “another impetus to our clean energy strategy”.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.