Dubai’s first grid connected rooftop solar array

By John O'Hanlon

Dubai Airports and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) will build Dubai’s first grid connected rooftop solar array at Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central (DWC). Installing 100 solar panels will help to limit the airport’s carbon footprint and allows the power generated to be fed directly into the power grid, a statement said.

This is the first solar project to be linked directly to the DEWA grid and is expected to be followed by several other similar projects across Dubai, according to the WAM news agency.

By harnessing the sun’s energy, the 100-panel solar array aims to limit the power used by DWC’s employee gate facility. The array, which is located on the roof of the building, has a capacity of 30KW and generates about 48.8MWh of electricity per year, equal to about two-thirds of the power used by the building.

"The solar array is just one of several projects across our airports aimed at adopting ways to limit our environmental impact while safeguarding the significant economic and social contributions the aviation sector provides Dubai. Initiatives such as these take us a step closer to achieving that ambition," said Majed Al Joker, SVP of Operations DWC at Dubai Airports.

The project also forms part of a broader environmental drive outlined in the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, aimed at reducing the emirate's reliance on fossil fuels.

Waleed Salman, EVP of Strategy and Business Development at DEWA, said: "We are pleased to implement the first smart initiative to connect solar power to buildings. This supports the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 to diversify the energy mix and increase the share of renewable energy in Dubai's total power output to 7 percent by 2020 and 15 percent by 2030, and achieve our strategy of supporting sustainable energy projects in Dubai."

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