453 buildings in Dubai go solar; All by 2030

By Rajive Singh

DUBAI 29 October 2017: Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) has connected 453 photovoltaic (PV) installations on the roofs of residential, commercial and industrial buildings in Dubai, with a total capacity of about 18.7 MW, under the ‘Shams Dubai’ initiative to encourage customers to install solar photovoltaic panels on the roofs of their premises to generate electricity from solar power and export any excess to the power grid.

These numbers are expected to increase in the future to eventually cover all buildings in the emirate by 2030.

“Shams Dubai gives Dubai’s residents the opportunity to transform their buildings into sustainable ones, reduce the Emirate’s carbon footprint, and increase the proportion of solar power in Dubai’s environmentally-friendly energy mix. Through this initiative, community members will promote sustainable development in Dubai and transform the Emirate into a global hub for clean energy and green economy,” said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dewa.

Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, calls to generate 7% of Dubai’s total power output from clean energy by 2020, 25% by 2030 and 75% by 2050. This will also support the Smart Dubai initiative launched by His Highness to make Dubai the smartest and happiest city in the world.

“Shams Dubai helps customers avoid using very expensive power storage systems by connecting the photovoltaic panels to the network. Furthermore, the surplus power will be exported to Dewa’s grid, which will be deducted from the customers’ future bill. Apart from providing those direct benefits to electricity customers, and increasing the value of buildings where solar photovoltaic systems are installed, Shams Dubai establishes a sustainable model for providing clean energy and supporting Dubai’s economy without harming the environment and natural resources,” added Al Tayer.

solar building shams 1

Al Tayer praised institutions and individuals who participated in the Shams Dubai initiative. “The first customers’ solar photovoltaic systems connected to Dewa’s grid, under Shams Dubai initiative, was the rooftop of the employees’ building at Dubai World Central – Al Maktoum International Airport, with a capacity of 30 kilowatts at peak load (kWp). After that, a number of ambitious projects were completed, including the 1 megawatt at peak load (MWp) carport installation at Emirates Engine Maintenance Centre in Warsan, a number of Dubai Municipality buildings, including the 260kWp carport at Al Qusais Park, the 1,210kWp installation at the Engineer’s Office’s water pumping station at Al Qudra, the 126kWp canopy at Enoc petrol station near Dubai Internet City, and 353 villas at the Sustainable City as of 31 August 2017,” said Al Tayer.

Dewa also connected a number of distributed solar projects at its own premises, including the 1.5 MWp at Jebel Ali Power Station. This installation covers the roof of Jebel Ali’s M Station, which is one of the largest rooftop projects in the Middle East and North Africa. Dewa partnered with 19 government organisations in Dubai, sponsoring 37 projects under the Shams Dubai initiative. These projects include schools, mosques, and villas under the umbrella of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Housing Establishment.

“Dewa has outlined easy steps to install photovoltaic systems on buildings to generate solar power as part of the Shams Dubai initiative. The installation process starts with the customer contacting one of the solar consultants or contractors enrolled by Dewa to study the possibility of installing the solar power system and suggesting the best solution. The consultant or contractor then obtains the necessary approvals from Dewa. These include an NOC for installing solar power and connecting it to the power network, and design approval that confirms its design meets all requirements. After obtaining the necessary approvals, site works are undertaken, and once the installation is complete the contractor or consultant submits a notification to Dewa to conduct the technical inspection of the site and install the required smart meters to complete the connection process,” noted Al Tayer.

solar building shams 2

“In addition, Dewa’s Shams Dubai Calculator was launched on DEWA’s website to support and educate customers who want to install solar panels on rooftops, by providing estimated comparisons and additional information with ease. The Shams Dubai Calculator is an innovative and learning tool provided by DEWA to customers who wish to produce electricity using photovoltaic panels under the Shams Dubai initiative. Once customers have entered their registered account numbers, they can identify the location of their building and determine its surface area through an interactive map. They can also estimate the number of solar panels needed in this area, and the capacity of these panels on a monthly or annual basis. The client can draw the space that he or she wants to benefit from, subject to the total actual surface area of the building. The interactive map allows the client to know other information as well, such as solar panel sites installed by DEWA, DEWA’s certified solar services consultants and contractors, and the possibility of sharing results through social media,” added Al Tayer.

To date, Dewa has certified 352 solar photovoltaic experts in 10 trainings held to date, and a total of 73 companies are currently enrolled with Dewa for Shams Dubai: 64 contractors and 9 consultants. The equipment eligibility scheme has attracted interest from about 100 manufacturers who have registered so far, and more than 700 solar equipment including solar panels, inverters and interface protections, have been made eligible for use by Shams Dubai. Dewa has made available detailed information about Shams Dubai, including the Shams Dubai Calculator, in the smart initiatives section of Dewa’s website. It includes all the conditions and requirements for Shams Dubai, as well as lists of enrolled consultants and contractors, and eligible equipment. For more information, please visit: www.dewa.gov.ae/shamsdubai