Largest solar PV plant in Middle East to deliver record-low electricity prices

Energy companies and analysts believe that the energy revolution taking place across the world could be accelerated – rather than derailed – by the collapse in the oil price because of the cancellation and deferral of tens of billions of dollars in uneconomic fossil fuel reserves.

The water and power developer, ACWA Power, which is based in the Saudi capital Riyadh in the last few weeks set global records for low-cost solar power.

The Spanish group TSK and technology from US-based First Solar will contribute to the development of a 260MWp solar PV plant at the Mohammed Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai, at a cost of just $US0.058/kwh, of $US58.4/MWh.

That’s how much it will receive as a fixed tariff over 25 years for what is currently the largest solar plant in Middle East. The price it bid is 20 per cent cheaper than the previous benchmark for solar tenders. What’s more, it is 30 per cent cheaper than the price of gas that is currently used for nearly all of the electricity generation in the United Arab Emirates.

ACWA has also won a tender recently in South Africa to construct a 100MW solar tower facility with storage, which will be the countries first solar tower. The facility will be a virtual carbon copy of the 110MW Crescent Dunes solar with storage plant in Nevada. It too will be using technology from a US company, Solar Reserve.

Top image: Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park First Solar (Phase 1), via First Solar.

© 2015 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

Giles Parkinson