From 3D printed workplaces to building an entire artificial mountain, the people of Dubai are well-known for their taste for extravagance. In Dubai, the only plans are the big ones as they don’t believe in keeping things quiet.
DEWA, the Dubai Water and Electricity Authority has announced the plans to construct the world’s largest concentrated solar power (CSP) plant. The output from the plant will be 1000 MW in 2020 when the first part of the plant becomes operational. The output from the plant will further rise to 5000 MW by 2030.
The facility will comprise of five plants and will be constructed in the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. By the time the project nears its completion in 2030, the CSP will increase the overall power production capacity of the Gulf state by 25 percent.
Currently, Ivanpah CSP in California is considered the largest CSP in the world with an output of 392MW. The work on the Ouarzazate solar power plant in Morocco is in progress that will generate up to 580 MW.
The working principle of the CSPs differs from that of the conventional solar power plants. In concentrated solar power plants, the photovoltaic cells are replaced with heliostats. Heliostats form an array of the reflecting mirrors that direct the sun rays to the top of a tower. The thermal heat of the sun can be conserved by the CSP thus, enabling it to generate power even during the dark hours of the day.
The concentrated light is converted to heat which is used to drive a steam turbine for power production via the generator.
With the thousands of heliostats positioned in concentric circles around the tower, the new CSP will bring the power generation cost to down to 8 cents per hour, as compared with the present 15 kWh. The CSP will also reduce the carbon emissions significantly.
The world’s largest CSP will also draw power from the PV cells. Dubai has formulated a Clean Energy Strategy 2050, which aims to raise the clean energy power production up to 75 percent by 2050.