x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Dewa signs agreement to pilot Middle East’s first concentrated solar plant

MoU with Sweden’s Cleanergy and Al-Futtaim Carillion, a joint venture between Al Futtaim and the UK construction services firm Carillion, to build a trial project for the technology.

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) has signed an agreement to pilot the Middle East’s first Stirling Engine Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant.

The utility provider yesterday announced a memorandum of understanding with Sweden’s Cleanergy and Al Futtaim Carillion, a joint venture between Al Futtaim and the UK construction services firm Carillion, to build a trial project for the technology.

The project is expected to break ground next month, and is expected to be formally inaugurated in April.

Dubai has pledged to diversify its energy mix so that 5 per cent of its requirements are derived from solar power by 2030.

“Today’s news is another important step forward in meeting our targets in the solar energy segment and ensuring environmental sustainability by encouraging the use of renewable energy,” said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Dewa’s chief executive.

“Our long-term plan is to deploy more large-scale solar installations in Dubai and the test plant will function as an important learning tool for this.”

A Stirling Engine CSP system generates electricity directly from the heat produced from solar power. A traditional CSP system generates electricity by heating water to power a steam turbine.

The plant will consist of 10 units with a total capacity of 110 kilowatts, enough to power approximately 10 households.

Dewa’s announcement came two days after the utility provider unveiled a model of Dubai’s Dh10 billion Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi. The park is expected to generate 1,000 megawatts upon its completion in 2030.

In a separate development, Abu Dhabi’s Masdar yesterday announced a framework agreement with Energias De Portugal, the European country’s largest utility, to pursue large-scale wind and solar power projects with an emphasis on developing markets.

The announcement came after the president of Senegal, Macky Sall, said that Masdar is considering investing in a US$40 million solar power project in the country.

“We had some discussion with Masdar about a solar plant, 15MW in power, that the government will provide to Senegal through the bilateral cooperation between the two countries,” he said.

“There is a very good outcome of this visit to provide a solar project to Senegal from Abu Dhabi.”

He said Abu Dhabi planned to send a technical team to Senegal this year to explore investment opportunities in the project in more detail.

jeverington@thenational.ae