Dubai’s Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) has achieved significant results in its Shams Dubai initiative. The initiative allows customers to install photovoltaic panels on their rooftops to generate electricity from solar power, and connect the systems to Dewa’s grid. The electricity is used onsite and the surplus is exported to Dewa’s grid. So far, a total of 30 photovoltaic systems have been installed, six of them have been connected to Dubai’s electricity network. Dewa is working to connect the other projects.
One of the key projects completed and connected to Dewa’s grid as part of Shams Dubai initiative, is a 1.5 megawatt direct current (MWdc) photovoltaic generation project at Jebel Ali Power Station. It is one of the largest single-rooftop arrays in the Middle East and North Africa. Dewa installed 5,240 photovoltaic panels on the 23,000 square-metre roof of the water reservoir at its M-Station. The project reduces 1,600 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.
Dewa connected a 1MW project at Emirates Engine Maintenance Centre in Warsan. It increases the use of alternative energy while reducing carbon emissions. The installed system includes 2,990 photovoltaic panels installed on the rooftop of the centre’s car park, which spans over 8,000 square metres. The system generates about 1,900 MWh of electricity annually.
Dewa has also connected a photovoltaic system at Premier Composite Technologies in Dubai Investment Park, with a capacity of 200 kilowatts (kW), which equals over 320MWh of electricity production every year. Photovoltaic systems were also connected to the rooftop top of Jumeirah World Trade Centre Residence with a capacity of 31.1kW, which equals 46MWh of electricity every year, using 102 photovoltaic panels over 247 square metres.
Dewa connected a photovoltaic system to Dubai Municipality’s building in Al Kifaf with a capacity of 12kW, which equals 17 MWh of electricity every year. This was done using 48 photovoltaic panels over 127 square metres. One of the first projects implemented as part of Shams Dubai, was the installation of 30KW capacity on the rooftop of the Employee Gate at Al Maktoum International Airport.
Dewa is collaborating with 18 government organisations in Dubai to connect 37 projects under the Shams Dubai initiative, with a total capacity of 279kW and together produce about 445MWh annually. Dewa finished installing 20 solar energy systems in 5 government schools, 10 villas within the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation’s housing project, Dubai Media Incorporated (DMI)’s Building, Al Bayan and Emarat Alyoum’s building, Dubai Land Department, the Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Sports Complex, and the Community Development Authority (CDA). The total capacity of these projects is 146kW. They produce a total of about 235MWh a year.
Dewa has outlined easy steps to install photovoltaic systems in buildings to generate solar power as part of Shams Dubai initiative. The installation process starts with the customer contacting one of the consultants or contractors accredited by Dewa to study the possibility of installing the solar power system and suggest the best solution. The consultant or contractor then obtains the necessary approvals from Dewa. These include an NOC for installing solar energy system and connecting it to the power network, and approvals for the solar system design that meets all the requirements. After obtaining the necessary approvals, the consultant or contractor undertakes on-site work. After completing installation, they submit a notification to Dewa to conduct the technical inspection of the site and install the meter to complete the connection process.
Dewa enrols and accredits consultants and contractors. To enrol with Dewa as a solar photovoltaic electrical consultant or contractor, the company must have a valid trade licence issued by the Department of Economic Development. The company must also have at least one graduate electrical engineer under their sponsorship with at least one year’s experience in supervising electrical works and design in compliance with Dewa’s regulations for electrical installations. The company’s employees should also pass the photovoltaic systems Expert programme, and submit applications via Dewa’s website. Trainees can learn about the technical requirements, and safety standards. This is part of Dewa’s efforts to ensure photovoltaic systems are designed and installed according to the highest international quality standards.
To date, a total of 143 engineers have been certified as enrolled electrical and solar photovoltaic consultants and contractors. Dewa’s training course includes academic and practical training, covering all technical aspects of installing photovoltaic panels, as well as safety procedures.