Dubai Utility to Name Winning Bidder for Desert Solar Complex

  • Masdar chairman, CEO to attend announcement, invitation says
  • DEWA got lowest price offer from Masdar-led group, MEED said

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority will announce Monday the winning bidder in a contest to build an 800-megawatt solar power plant in the Persian Gulf emirate, the government-owned utility said.

Along with DEWA Chief Executive Officer Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, the chairman and chief executive officer of Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company Masdar are set to attend the press conference announcing the award, according to the invitation received Sunday.

A Masdar-led group submitted the lowest bid to supply power to DEWA from the planned facility, MEED reported in May. DEWA said at the time that the lowest-cost bid of five received would provide power for 2.99 cents a kilowatt-hour. That price would undercut the cost of power generated from coal.

State utilities generally issue tenders to attract private investors to help build and operate power plants. The power plant developers offer to build the facility and provide power at a certain price, with the lowest bid generally winning. When asked if it had been awarded the power plant contract, a Masdar spokesman referred questions to DEWA.

A DEWA official said the company won’t comment before Monday’s announcement. Developers were bidding to construct the third phase of a DEWA solar park in the sheikhdom’s desert. The solar park will generate 5,000 megawatts by 2030. Dubai is boosting solar generating capacity to diversify its energy mix and help meet growing demand for electricity. The emirate aims to get 7 percent of its power from clean energy sources by 2020. Dubai currently has 13 megawatts in operation at the solar park and a further 200 megawatts under construction.

Sultan Al Jaber, Masdar’s chairman, and the company’s CEO Mohammad Jameel Al Ramahi will attend tomorrow’s press conference, according to the invitation. Al Jaber is also a minister of state for the United Arab Emirates and CEO of government-run Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. Abu Dhabi is the U.A.E.’s largest sheikhdom, followed by Dubai.

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