Construction begins on largest solar rooftop array in the Middle East


When it comes to solar, the UAE likes to break boundaries. Just last month the country welcomed the record lowest bid for energy generated by solar anywhere in the world, and now construction begins in Dubai on the largest solar PV rooftop system in the Middle East.

The array is being installed by Green Energy Tomorrow, which is the rooftop solar arm of Dubai-based Phanes Group. Being installed at Dubai’s DP World, the project is one of the largest to be launched as part of the Shams Dubai program by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA).

Approximately 88,000 solar modules will make up the impressive 22 MW system, which will be installed on the warehouses, office buildings and carparks of the Jebel Ali Free Zone and Mina Rashid Port areas of DP World. With such a powerful output, it will supply 40% of the total energy consumption of the Jebel Ali Free Zone.

The project fits into the UAE’s vision 2021, which sets out ways for the country to reduce its carbon emissions, leading to a sustainable future for the environment. As part of the initiative, the country has invited solar developer to take part in utility-scale solar tenders, the most recent of which received three record breaking low bids for solar energy.

“Establishes solar on every rooftop in the UAE starts with positive action from our industrial economy capitalizing on a good regulatory environment, to dramatically reduce both carbon impact and operating costs,” commented Martin Haupts, CEO of Phanes Group. “This ground breaking project demonstrates that the UAE’s commitments to a diversified clean energy future are not the sole pursuit of our policy makers but of our private sector and citizens too – paving the way for a smarter approach to corporate citizenship that is aligned with national objectives and has a clear business case.”

The company expected phase one of the installation to be completed in 2017, with phase two and three due to follow. Phanes also pointed to the 76 other marine and inland terminals controlled by DP World, suggesting that further solar projects could be developed at these locations.

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