The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has recently awarded Saudi Arabia's ACWA Power a 700MW concentrated solar thermal power (CSP) project following a highly competitive tender launched earlier this year.

Speaking to New Energy Update, ACWA Power's executive director of business development, Andrea Lovato, said the project will combine tower and trough technologies and use scale and local infrastructure synergies to set a new benchmark price of $73/MWh for CSP with storage.

CSP project specs

The project represents the fourth development phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (MBR) Solar Park, which will host 1GW of solar capacity by 2020, increasing to 5GW by 2030, New Energy Update reported.

According to media, the plant is expected to cost in the region of $3.9 billion and the project developer is expected to commit $750 million equity to the project. Read more...

Consortium partners will include China's Shanghai Electric with additional investment to come from DEWA.

Technology

ACWA Power's tower system will provide fifteen hours of storage while the trough section will provide eleven hours. The combination of technologies will help to reduce the total cost of energy, Lovato said.

"Parabolic troughs are a more mature and low-risk technology while tower technology and energy storage help reduce costs," he said.

According to New energy Update: “The project represents the world's largest single-site CSP plant based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model and will use a combination of central tower and parabolic trough technologies.

“The tower will be 260 meters high, equivalent to the Emirates Towers skyscrapers in Dubai.

“The plant will use molten salt storage to produce power through the night and complement rising daytime PV capacity.”

ACWA Power's 700MW project is far larger than the 200MW requirement set out in DEWA's tender criteria and establishes new cost benchmarks for the growing Middle East CSP market. Read more...

Economies of scale will lower project capital expenditure (capex) through bulk orders and improved infrastructure and construction logistics, Lovato told New Energy Update.

 

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