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EDF wins DEWA consultancy deal on hydropower project

Dubai: France’s EDF has been appointed to provide consultancy on a hydropower project in Dubai as part of an almost Dh2 billion development plan for Hatta.

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) awarded the French firm a Dh58 million consultancy contract for the pumped storage hydroelectric facility in the mountainous Hatta region. EDF will be in charge of the design of the station including undertaking the deep excavation studies.

The facility will use solar energy to pump water from the lower dam to the upper reservoir, which will be 300 metres above the dam level. The utility said the power production efficiency will reach 90 per cent with a 90-second response time to demand. The plant, which will have a total capacity of 250 megawatts, was announced last year.

Saeed Al Tayer, the managing director and chief executive of Dewa, said the plant was part of the Hatta Comprehensive Development Plan, which aims to turn the mountain city into a tourist destination. It will include hundreds of homes for Emiratis as well as green areas for winter sports and a mountain track circuit.

Mr Al Tayer last year said: “Over 2,000 jobs will be required during the implementation phase, while over 200 permanent technical and administrative jobs will be needed to oversee the operation and maintenance of the station in its facilities.” He added that a further 300 jobs were expected to be created for the visitor and tourist centre, outdoor activities and the accommodation and visiting facilities associated with the project.

“Other than energy and irrigation, the project will provide services including flood control and storing fresh drinking water,” he said.

In addition to the hydropower station, solar panels – as part of the Shams Initiative – will also be added to 640 villa rooftops throughout the area via the Dewa-owned Etihad Energy Services Company. The firm awarded the project to three companies including Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence, Abu Dhabi’s Alsa Solar and Al Mostajed General Contracting of Dubai.

Last month, Dubai Carbon brought in Germany’s Innogy to help to develop and implement rooftop solar. The companies will work together to design a standardised, low-cost solar kit for homeowners as well as industries.

Dubai Carbon will work on adding solar to 220 villas, with the PV installations expected to be completed by the end of next year.