Irshad Salim — Chinese PV panel manufacturer Trina Solar has started operations at the initial phase for a site in UAE for 2,000 people to get all of their energy needs met by renewable resources.
The small city “green project” site located just outside of Dubai –dubbed the Sustainable City in Dubai, and spread over 11,000-acre, could eventually host a population of more than 2,000 people.
Trina Solar said it finished with phase 1 development, which saw the installation of more than 24,000 Duramex solar panels which feature a first-of-type frameless design, ensuring no dust accumulation and requires minimum amount of cleaning thereby adhering to the city’s sustainable and environment friendly design standards.
“We are building up to our total goal of 40,000 solar panels, which will eventually produce up to 10 megawatts of power at maximum capacity,” Anwar Zagin, the CEO for the city, said in a statement.
The Sustainable City (carbon-free) built by Diamond Developers, one of the first companies in Dubai to enter the freehold property and real estate development industry since the introduction of freehold property ownership in 2002, will eventually host several facilities, including 500 residential villas, 170-room hotel, mosque, school, swimming pool and an equestrian club and track. The proposed residential and commercial complex is tagged as one of the largest sustainable cities in operation to date in Middle East.
The decline in the cost of solar power installations worldwide and the Middle East region, has led to a tripling of UAE’s goal for renewable energy, aiming for a share of 15 percent of total power by 2030.
Market analysts predict a similar trend to emerge in the Saudi Kingdom which has announced it will develop 30 solar and wind projects over the next 10 years as part of the kingdom’s $50 billion public-private partnership program to boost power generation and cut oil consumption.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates the cost of utility-scale solar power projects have declined by about 60 percent since 2011 and could drop another 25 percent by 2021. In response, investments in solar photovoltaics increased 20 percent last year.
The city is located about 18 miles outside of Dubai, the largest and most populous Emirati city.
“Solar power is expected to be a significant contributor to Dubai’s ambitions to become the world’s most sustainable city by 2020,” Helena Li, the regional president for Trina Solar, said in a statement.