Egypts Ministry of Agriculture has installed a rooftop solar system that uses 560 solar modules from German PV manufacturer Luxor Solar.
Local solar tech specialist Hammer Electric installed the 140 kW PV system with integrated battery storage on the Ministry building, making it the largest rooftop solar system on a public building in the country.
Egypt is turning increasingly to solar as a viable alternative to fossil fuels. With a global solar radiation of 2,000 to 2,500 kilowatt hours per square meter, Egypt is one of the sunniest countries on the planet. In addition, the country and its residents remain afflicted by regular power outages, making the need for a stable energy supply ever more urgent.
The Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture is also regularly forced to struggle with power cuts, with ensuing consequences for the administration. In order to ensure a reliable power supply, the Ministry decided to install the 140 kW system on the roof of the building, complete with integrated battery storage.
The generated solar power will charge the batteries in order to make sure that the lights can stay on even in the event of power cuts. Any additional electricity generated will be fed into the public electricity grid.
The growing importance of solar energy for the government was evident in the attendance of six cabinet-level ministers at the opening ceremony for the Ministrys new PV installation. The project is regarded as a model for the use of solar energy within the administration of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, according to Luxor Solar.
The government is expected to install further PV systems on public buildings. Egypt is aiming to use solar energy to bridge the immense supply gap within the next three to five years. The government has set a 20% renewable energy target by 2020.
Last week PV manufacturer REC announced it was teaming up with O Capital, an energy sector subsidiary of Egypt's Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding (OTMT), on wide-ranging solar power development activities in Egypt as well as in the Middle East and Africa.
Luxor Solar said its 60-cell module, with a nominal power of 250 Wp and comparatively low voltage, makes it possible to install more modules per row and thus lay out the inverters in a more economically efficient manner. In addition, the Stuttgart-based company said its 6-inch polycrystalline cells can be manufactured more economically and stand out due to their low temperature coefficients.