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First Solar cadmium telluride panels to power up Dubai

The 13 MW project is phase one in UAE's planned 1GW Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park

First Solar has been selected by the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) to construct a 13 megawatt (MWDC) solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant in Seih Al Dahal.

The location is approximately 50 kilometres south of Dubai.

Under the terms of the agreement, First Solar will provide engineering, procurement and construction services, as well as its CdTe thin-film PV modules.

The 13MW solar PV power plant is the first phase of the landmark Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. Named after the leader of the Emirate of Dubai, the AED 12 billion (US$3.27 billion) project is expected to eventually cover 48 square kilometres and produce 1,000MW of clean energy for the nation's capital using both PV and solar thermal technology.

"The PV plant installation is a key step in the implementation of the energy diversification strategy adopted by the Supreme Council of Energy, in which solar energy is set to become part of Dubai's energy portfolio. The strategy is based on Dubai's growing energy requirements and aims to maintain security of supply in the Emirate of Dubai," says HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.

"We are delighted that DEWA has chosen First Solar to build the first phase of this flagship project, which illustrates our strategy to provide comprehensive solar power plant solutions in sustainable markets," says Jim Hughes, CEO of First Solar. "We commend His Highness for his vision in promoting a path toward a sustainable future for Dubai that preserves natural resources, reduces pollution and serves the Emirate's rapidly growing power needs."

The 13MW power plant is expected to generate more than 22 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year, on average, enough to meet the average annual electricity needs of more than 500 local households.

Electricity generated by the power plant on average will displace more than 14,000 metric tons of CO2 annually, equivalent to removing 1,600 cars from the road every year.

The solar park is to be implemented by Dubai's Supreme Council of Energy (SCE) and managed and operated by DEWA, the state-owned power company, as part of the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030.

First Solar recently opened an office in Dubai and is in an advanced stage of establishing an office in Saudi Arabia too.
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