REC, the largest European brand of solar panels, to power a new flagship installation in Dubai, UAE: Owned and operated by leading UAE retailer BMA International FZE, the 572 kilowatt (kW) installation is located on the rooftop of the logistics and warehouse centre belonging to BMA’s Redtag Group.With REC providing not only the photovoltaics (PV) panels but the full EPC expertise, the installation is one of the first under Dubai’s new net metering scheme for renewable energies. REC’s innovative 2,161 solar panels of the new TwinPeak series are expected to generate 904,000 kWh of electricity, reducing the CO2 footprint by 550 metric tonnes per year.
The new Redtag installation, which extends over 7,000 m² of otherwise unused roof space, is one of REC’s landmark projects in the region. As well as being REC’s first installation for Redtag Group, it is also one of the first projects to be completed as part of a new UAE initiative to promote renewable energy. This initiative, called “Shams Dubai”, aims to diversify the country’s energy mix to include more clean and renewable energy sources. In its bid to encourage investment in solar projects – and kick-start the private rooftop solar market – Dubai has therefore introduced a net metering scheme that encourages household and building owners to install solar panels and connect their installation to the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) grid. Any surplus-generated solar energy is fed into the grid and credited against the household’s or company’s future consumption.
The Redtag solar installation is emblematic of a wider push toward solar energy in the region. Despite being among the largest producers of fossil fuels worldwide, UAE and other countries in the Middle East are turning their attention to renewable energy and sustainability as they seek to satisfy growing demands for energy and deal with the ever-present challenge of water scarcity. The UAE already sources from around 120 MW of solar power capacity (CSP and PV), with a further 300 MW planned by yearend 2018. Through the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), UAE committed to concessional financing of up to USD 350 million to renewable energy projects. REC is confident of playing a significant role in this emerging market for solar installations.
Commenting on the project, Luc Graré, Senior Vice President EMEA at REC, says, “We’re proud that BMA International and Redtag Group chose REC as their EPC partner for this rooftop installation, enabling us to realize one of the first projects under Dubai’s new net metering initiative. It is a very straight forward scheme and we are confident that the new program will give solar another push in the region. We expect new installations in particular from the commercial rooftop segment. With our high-quality products, our long-term experience and German engineering expertise, REC can manage every aspect of solar projects. We’re pleased we were able to contribute our expertise to this project.”
Ernest Hosking, CEO at Redtag confirms that REC’s expertise – as well as the performance of its solar panels – are key reasons why the company elected to partner with REC: “The REC solar panels offer high efficiency and reliability in the extreme temperature conditions we have year-round in Dubai. But we also chose REC because they were able to offer a complete solution. Redtag Group benefited from REC’s ability to manage the project end-to-end, and make certain the installation was completed quickly. REC is both a manufacturer and an EPC with almost 20 years of knowledge on optimal utilization of solar panels in the systems.” The project has been completed within no more than two months and is ready for operation.