The Abu Dhabi resort island of Nurai will become home to the country’s first floating solar power array, which is planned to be tied to the grid “very soon.”
Dubai-based solar solutions provider Enerwhere is the company behind the 80-kW project.
The photovoltaic (PV) system, described as “the region’s first near-shore open sea floating structure”, has already been towed in place, the head of Enerwhere’s off-grid division Feras Shadid said in a LinkedIn post earlier this week.
According to news service One Step Off The Grid, the solar plant will be powering the island’s five-star Zaya Nurai Island resort, which already uses power from rooftop and ground-mounted PV systems.
The resort says on its website that solar electricity already covers 35% of the man-made island’s energy consumption. The rest comes from efficient electronic fuel injection diesel generators.
The panels will act as a pilot for similar projects in the region and, if successful, could pave the way for floating renewable energy solutions for Dubai’s man-made islands and resorts like the Maldives, Enerwhere says.
“Dealing with waves and corrosion offshore is obviously a lot more challenging technically than installing solar panels on a roof or flat piece of desert,” the company’s chief executive officer Stefan Muckstein said.
“But for a resort island like Nurai this is still far better than taking up valuable beach real estate which tourists are willing to pay much more for.”
Last year Dubai also announced that it seeks to establish floating solar power plants on the Arabian Gulf.