June 14 (Renewables Now) - The 800-MW phase III of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar project in Dubai has reached financial close, the renewables arm of France's EDF (EPA:EDF) announced today.
EDF Energies Nouvelles (EDF EN) in March joined the consortium, led by Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company Masdar, that is developing the 800-MW project.
Financing for the project has been secured from seven institutions, including three from the Middle East -- the Union National Bank, the Islamic Development Bank and the Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP). The finance structure also involves France's Natixis, Germany's Siemens Financial Services, Korea Development Bank, and Canada's export credit agency, Export Development Canada (EDC).
"The involvement of Islamic investment in the project financing is especially pleasing, and will pave the way for further Sharia-compliant investment in the clean energy" commented Masdar chief executive Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi.
The 800-MW photovoltaic (PV) plant will use tilting panels that track the sun. It will be completed in three stages. The 200-MW phase A will be ready in 2018, the 300-MW phase B in 2019, and the 300-MW phase C in 2020. Work on site is in progress, with drilling and piling works underway for the installation of panels, according to the announcement.
The Masdar-led consortium in May 2016 won the right to build and operate the plant under the independent power producer (IPP) model with a then record-low bid of USD 29.9 (EUR 26.6) per MWh.
The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is planned to reach 5 GW by 2030. The 200-MW phase II was put online earlier this year. Phase I, of 13 MW, was built by US company First Solar Inc several years ago.