Bahrain launches 3 MW rooftop tender

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The Kingdom of Bahrain has continued its cautious path towards renewables by announcing a 3 MW tender for rooftop installations. The Solar Energy Unit (SEU) of Bahrain – with the United Nations Development Program – has called for expressions of interest from developers.

The project relates to eight locations containing 66 government buildings identified by the SEU, which carried out a detailed feasibility assessment for the installation of rooftop PV on 120 buildings in the government estate.

The rooftop tender will be split into three lots, of 1.25 MW, 1 MW and 750 kW. The capacity for each must be achieved using small-sized plants with a capacity of 10-200 kW.

The tender documentation specifies rooftop space will be made available through a lease agreement between the successful bidders and the government. Bidders must supply, build, own and operate the PV systems and the electricity generated will be sold to the government at a fixed tariff under a power purchase agreement. The buildings will primarily use the power for self-consumption but any surplus will be fed into the grid under Bahrain’s net-metering regulations.

In 2017, Bahrain presented its National Renewable Energy Action Plan at an event organized by the Bahrain Solar Industry Association in Manama. The plan is expected to bring online 255 MW of PV capacity by 2025 – enough to provide around 5% of the country’s demand – and 700 MW of renewable energy capacity by 2030. The plan will be implemented through three policies: for net metering, a tender-based FIT scheme, and a renewable energy mandate for new buildings.

This month, Bahrain announced the launch of a 100 MW tender for utility-scale solar. The project will be developed by an independent power producer at the Askar landfill site, in the country’s southern governorate.