Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa), recently visited the pumped storage hydroelectric power station being built by Dewa in Hatta, which is 29 per cent complete.
The station will have a production capacity of 250 megawatts (MW), a storage capacity of 1,500 megawatt-hours, and a life span of up to 80 years. This is the first station of its kind in the GCC with investments up to Dh1.421 billion. Nasser Lootah, EVP of Generation at Dewa; Khalifa Albedwawi, the project manager, and the project’s team accompanied Al Tayer.
Al Tayer inspected the construction site of the hydroelectric power station and was briefed on the project’s progress. The first 37-metre-high Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) wall is now complete at the project’s upper dam. The station will use water in the Hatta Dam and an upper dam that is being built in the mountain.
The Hydroelectric power plant is an energy storage with turnaround efficiency of 78.9 per cent that utilises potential energy of the water stored in the upper dam which is converted to kinetic energy during the flow of water through the 1.2 kilometer subterranean tunnel, and this kinetic energy rotates the turbines and converts mechanical energy to electrical energy which is sent to Dewa grid within 90 seconds in response to demand.
Then to store energy again, clean energy generated at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is used to pump the water through this tunnel back to the upper dam by converting the electrical energy to kinetic energy and then finally storing it as a potential energy in the upper dam. This makes the whole project 100 per cent renewable.
“The pumped-storage hydroelectric power plant in Hatta helps achieve the vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to comprehensively expand sustainable development in Dubai. We have a clear strategy and specific objectives to increase the use of clean and renewable energy in Dubai’s energy mix. This will achieve the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to provide 75 per cent of Dubai’s total power capacity from clean energy sources by 2050,” said Al Tayer.
Al Tayer also said that the hydroelectric power plant in Hatta supports Dewa’s efforts to diversify its energy mix. This diversification includes photovoltaic solar panels, Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), green hydrogen production using renewable energy, and studies on wind power generation in Hatta. The hydroelectric power plant is one of Dewa’s projects to provide innovative job opportunities for the people of Hatta, and the area’s development to meet its social, economic, and environmental needs.
Al Tayer confirmed that the construction of the hydroelectric power plant uses the latest and safest drilling technologies suited to Hatta’s geological features and adheres to the strictest international environmental standards to protect the Hatta Natural Reserve. The service tunneling operations are complete. Each tunnel is 500 metre long. More than 95 per cent of the excavation operations of the 1.2 kilometer subterranean water canal have been completed.
He explained that the 60-metre-deep excavation for the area where the generators will be installed is complete. Now, the work to pour concrete has begun, and pouring of the Roller Compacted Concrete for the first part of the 37-metre-high upper dam wall is now complete. The project has completed 4.6 million safe working hours so far without any injuries.
Dewa is also implementing two other pioneering projects in Hatta; namely, Dubai Mountain Peak and Hatta Sustainable Waterfalls. These projects will promote Hatta’s position as one of the most prominent tourist attractions in Dubai.