Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power said financing has been wrapped up for the $564m fifth phase of the 5GW Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park in Dubai, which will produce some of the world’s cheapest renewable power.

The 900MW plant was contracted to produce energy at $16.95/MWh, one of the lowest levelised cost of electricity rates seen globally so far, after ACWA’s success last year in a competitive tender that attracted 60 entrants.

The fifth phase is due online in 2021, taking the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park to 2.9GW. The full project is set to be completed by 2030 at a cost of $13.6bn.

The plant will use bi-facial modules with tracking technology, and will be built by China’s Shanghai Electric.

Along with the Gulf Investment Corporation, developer ACWA is a minority owner of the fifth project phase, called Shuaa Energy 3 PSC, which is 60% controlled by Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA).

The project is one of a number of regional solar developments that have driven down the price of PV power in the last 18 months. A 2GW PV development in neighbouring Abu Dhabi to be built by France’s EDF and China’s JinkoSolar will produce at $13.50/MWh, a rate vying with Portuguese solar projects for the crown of world’s cheapest renewable electricity.

The fifth-phase financing group included Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Arab Petroleum Investment Corporation, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Emirates NBD Bank, Natixis, SAMBA Financial Group, Standard Chartered Bank and Warba Bank.

“Securing this amount of long tenor project financing for Shuaa Energy 3 PSC, even as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to cause social and economic disruption to the entire world, illustrates the combined capabilities and trusted partnership between ACWA Power and DEWA,” said Paddy Padmanathan chief executive of ACWA Power.