DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES —
The Dubai government has approved an extension to the world’s largest single-site solar farm. The government has given the green light to a 700-MW addition to the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, New Atlas reported. The solar park is located about 50 kms south of Dubai, with the first phase inaugurated back in 2013, according to New Atlas. It currently has 2.3 million photovoltaic solar panels with a 200-MW capacity. Capacity is expected to grow to 5,000 MW by 2030. Developers say the park will eventually cover 214 sq km with a 260-m solar tower taking center stage. The solar plant produces power by using lenses and reflectors to concentrate sunlight in order to heat fluids, which then in turn produce steam to drive a turbine. An advantage to this type of solar system is that it’s more flexible because energy can be stored as heat and used as needed. A drawback is that they are more expensive than photovoltaic solar plants. Construction of the new extension is set to begin in 2020. The contract was awarded to a consortium of Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power and Shanghai Electric.