Dewa granted patent for CSP solar site identification technology

Dewa granted patent for CSP solar site identification technology

19 Jul 2020

Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (Dewa) has been granted a patent for a system that identifies best location for concentrated solar power (CSP) installations through technology using drones and autonomous vehicles. Dubai is currently developing a 700MW CSP solar farm as part of the fourth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid (MBR) solar park.

 

Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (Dewa) has been granted a patent for a system that identifies best location for concentrated solar power (CSP) installations through technology using drones and autonomous vehicles.

Dewa announced on 18 July that it’s Research & Development (R&D) Centre had been granted the patent in the UK’s intellectual property office for the system which measures atmospheric attenuation resulting from different factors such as dust.

The system uses drones and autonomous vehicles to identify the best locations for CSP towers and heliostats.

Waleed Salman, Dewa’s Executive Vice President of Business Development, said that the system is a “more efficient and effective alternative to current radiation measurements that use fixed installations on mountains closest to the station. In the case of Dubai, the nearest mountain top is 100 kilometres away, which makes information inaccurate. The patent also enhances the efficiency of heliostats by controlling their direction to maximise the benefit from solar radiation.”

Dewa is currently overseeing the development of a 700MW CSP project, the fourth phase of the emirate’s ambitious Mohammed bin Rashid (MBR) solar park.

The fourth phase project will feature the tallest solar tower in the world at 262.44 metres, which will allow energy to be stored for up to 15 hours.

A consortium led by Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power was awarded the contract to develop the fourth phase of the MBR in November 2017. Since then, the project has been expanded to include a 250MW PV component.

The fourth phase project achieved a tariff of $c7.3/kWh for the CSP component and $c2.4/kWh for the PV capacity, two of the lowest tariffs for CSP and PV solar technology in the world.

Acwa Power is also set to develop the fifth phase of the MBR solar park. The developer consortium signed the power purchase agreement (PPA) with Dewa, also the offtaker for the solar IPP, in April. The group was selected as the preferred bidder for the project in November last year having submitted a world record tariff of $cents1.6953 per kilowatt-hour (kWh).

Dewa will hold a 60 per cent stake in the company, with the Acwa Power consortium holding the remaining 40 per cent.

The MBR solar park is planned to have a total installed capacity of 5,000MW by 2030. The park currently has 1,013MW of PV solar capacity under operation, with 1,850MW of PV and concentrated solar power (CSP) capacity currently under construction.

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