Your guide to generating solar power in Dubai to slash Dewa bill

The only cost user will have to pay is a meter fee of Dh1,500. (File)

It’s official now. Dubai residents can now reduce their energy bills substantially, thanks to Dewa’s initiative allowing individuals, as well as commercial and government entities, to generate power through solar energy starting yesterday.

Addressing a press conference in Dubai today, Saeed Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa), said residential building, villas owners and private and government companies can install photovoltaic panels on their building to generate solar power for their personal consumption.

He said the residents and entities can submit applications with Dewa through its website free of cost, which will take approximately four weeks for approval. The only cost user will have to pay is a meter fee of Dh1,500.

Around 11 applications have been submitted so far by property developers, private companies and other residential buildings to install the solar panels on their facilities with a combined capacity to generate roughly 8.5 megawatt power.

With regard to installation of the solar panels on the freehold properties, the associations will have to come forward to submit applications and decide and select the panel manufacturer and other needs of the building.

Customers can directly deal with the Dewa-certified contractors and manufacturers from  Europe, South Korea, India and Japan.

The list of the certified contractors is available on Dubai utility firm’s website.

Al Tayer said residential or commercial units from any area in Dubai can connect to Dewa’s central grid.

Replying to a query about how much the consumers will be able to reduce their energy bills, Dewa official said it will vary depending on the usage, the manufacturer of the solar panel and a range of other factors.

Waleed Ali Ahmed Salman, Executive Vice-President for Strategy & Business Development at Dewa, said the power generated by the residents or entities will be adjusted on a monthly and annually basis.

He said if someone goes on leave during summer and the solar panels continue generating electricity, that would be added to the Dewa power grid.

The surplus power will be adjusted once the consumer returns to Dubai and consumes power.

He said there is no limit on how much a consumer can carry forward as the surplus power will be adjusted in the bill.

Dewa recently added 200MW solar power in partnership with Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power and is working on additional 700MW solar plant.

Al Tayer said the target is to generate 1,000 MW solar power by 2018-2019.

As part of initiative to reduce carbon emission and increase sources for renewable energy in Dubai, Al Maktoum International Airport earlier this month partnered with Dewa to erect a solar array which helps limit the airport’s carbon footprint and allows the power generated to be fed directly into the power grid.

This is the first solar project to be linked directly to the Dewa grid.

Al Tayer expects lot of applications to be submitted during the coming period as the initiative has generated a lot of interest from major property developers such as Nakheel, government and private sector entities.

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