Engineering studies underway for $520m Hatta hydropower plant.

Dubai project is the first of its kind in the Gulf, with a total capacity of 250MW and a lifespan of 60-80 years

Engineering studies have started for a planned AED1.9 billion ($520 million) hydro-electric power station that will make use of the water stored in Hatta Dam, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) said on Tuesday.

The studies are part of a AED58 million consultancy contract awarded to France’s EDF, which covers all design, hydro-geological, geological, environmental, geotechnical, and deep excavation studies.

It also includes consultancy on deep-water tunnel designs, the upper reservoir and hydroelectric power station, the tender for material supply, supervision of construction work, site installation, on-site testing and commissioning.

The project is the first of its kind in the Gulf, with a total capacity of 250MW, and a lifespan of 60 to 80 years.

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of DEWA, said: “The hydroelectric power station will generate electricity by making use of the water in the Hatta Dam, which can store up to 1,716 million gallons, and an upper reservoir that will be built in the mountain that can store up to 880 million gallons.

“During off-peak hours, turbines that use clean and cheap solar energy will pump water from the lower dam to the upper reservoir. During peak-load hours, when production costs are high, turbines operated by the speed of waterfall from the upper reservoir will be used to generate electricity and connect it to DEWA’s grid,” he added.

The hydropower move is part of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, which aims to increase the share of clean energy mix in Dubai to 75 percent.

Hydropower, which is the generation of power by harnessing energy from moving water, is one of the main sources of renewable and clean energy in the world.

In 2015, pumped storage hydropower installed capacity worldwide was 144,465MW. East Asia uses this technology the most with an installed capacity of about 58GW. Japan’s installed capacity is 27,637MW and China’s installed capacity is 23,060MW. The Middle East’s pumped storage installed capacity is 1,744MW.

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