Masdar ads 30 MW of PV-disel and installs 7,000 PV home kits in Egypt

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The Abu Dhabi-based renewables developer Masdar has recently announced the completion of seven PV plus diesel hybrid plants in Egypt. By adding PV elements to the existing disel-based power plants, the projects reduce costs of purchase and transport of diesel, as well as the risk of fuel price increases, the company says.

Four of the plants with the total capacity of 14 MW are located in the governorate of the Red Sea, eastern Egypt, one of the country’s most popular tourism areas. According to the developer, the projects in Marsa Alam (6 MW), Shalateen (5 MW), Abu Ramad (2 MW) and Halayeb (1 MW) have been specifically designed to serve the needs of the tourism sector.

On the other hand, Masdar has recently completed three PV-diesel installations in Al Wadi Al Jadeed Governorate, bringing electricity to Egypt’s largest but least populated governorate. The biggest out of the three facilities with the capacity of 5 MW is located in Al Farafra. Two other plants, 0.5 MW each, are located in Abu Minqar and Darb Al Arbaeen.

“These projects demonstrate how renewable energy can help countries meet a broad array of strategic aims — from empowering local communities, to strengthening energy security, to driving economic development,” said Masdar’s CEO Mohammad Jameel Al Ramahi.

The six recently completed PV plus diesel plants build on Masdar’s 10 MW solar farm in Siwa, northwest Egypt. The facility, which has been powered in March last year, generates 17,551 MWh of solar power annually, meeting 30% of the area’s electricity needs.

The Abu Dhabi-based developer has also announced that aside from its on-grid solar projects, the company has recently deployed 7,000 PV home systems across Egypt. These standalone off-grid solar home systems consist of two solar panels, two batteries with up to two days of storage capacity and lighting units.

“Each project was customized to the needs of the local community," said Khaled Ballaith, the director of the Masdar special projects unit. “Our priority was ensuring the right solution was deployed for the unique needs of the 70 villages and over 140 communities in seven governorates touched by these projects."

The PV systems now provide energy for homes, mosques, clinics, schools and community centers in remote areas that previously had no access to electricity.