UAE announces its first independent solar project

UAE announces its first independent solar project
Over 20 companies are participating in the tender process
Published: 25 January 2014 - 7:25 a.m.
By: Utilities ME Staff

Utico has called for pre-qualifications for a 40MW solar power development project in Ras Al Khaimah. The project, the first of its kind in the UAE, will go a long way to bring sustainability and provide affordable power to consumers in the region.

Utico, a full service private utilities company in the UAE, also closed successfully a well-participated pre-qualification process for a 100,000m3/day desalination plant. Over 20 companies are participating in this tender process. The project is the first-ever private independent water project in the world with a take or pay model.

The solar independent power project (IPP) will provide power to the desalination plant as well as provide power to the Utico grid. Negotiations are also underway to connect to the federal grid, which will help Utico to increase the solar power capacity to 120MW over the coming years.

Richard Menezes, executive vice-chairman of Utico, said that such a model of development would help the entire region to grow.

“What the region’s utilities sector requires are proper regulation, government support, the freedom to serve a consumer within a set quality of service, and consumer satisfaction not financial support. Meeting these requirements will help promote innovation along with better service and quick growth. That is the bottom line of utility development,” he pointed out.

“Today, Ras Al Khaimah has the most economical utility tariff structure in the UAE that is progressive, real and is pro-industry,” Menezes added. “This model is being proposed to several regions such as Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Sharjah, Fujairah, Umm Al Quwain, and countries, including India, Namibia, Lebanon, Cyprus and Oman, to name a few.

"We hope that this model of development will help the UAE to reduce subsidies and utilise these savings and put them to better use for social and economic development.”

Utico has already announced several environmentally friendly projects, including the 270MW clean coal power project, 40MW solar project, 100,000m3/day largest solar-powered desalination plant projects and several other innovative utility development models which are sustainable.

 

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