Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) has signed an agreement with Chinese solar firm Chang Zhou Almaden to host its new Dhs110 million manufacturing and training facility in Dubai.
Almaden, one of the world’s largest producers of photovoltaic anti-reflective coated glass, will set up a 15,000 sq meter factory in Dubai Silicon Oasis’ tech park, a statement said.
The facility is designed to produce up to 400,000 PV panels every year and will also host a training centre that will target raising awareness on green energy and sustainable solutions for the MENA region.
Set for completion in Q1 2015, it marks Almaden’s first entry into the MENA region.
Mohammed Alzarooni, vice chairman and CEO of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority said: “The Middle East is rapidly gaining international attention as an emerging market for solar energy. This has led to high uptake for innovative technologies. Dubai offers an international platform with comprehensive regional reach, providing Almaden the perfect location to establish its regional manufacturing facility.”
At the DSO plant, Almaden will produce specialised super thin dual glass PV panels to suit the desert climate, especially for residential buildings, car parking areas, green houses, roof tops and solar farms.
“Our ultra-thin dual glass PV panel has been especially designed for the hot summers of the Middle East allowing minimal power loss in high humidity and high temperature environments,” said Jinxi Lin, chairman of Chang Zhou Almaden.
“Solar is definitely the energy source for the future and although there are huge challenges facing the industry, we believe Almaden will create an impact on the market.”
Dubai is currently undertaking a massive energy diversification plan, and aims to produce five per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
To achieve that goal, it plans to eventually build up to 1,000MW of solar power plants.
The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has currently put out a tender for the construction of a 100MW independent solar power project (IPP) and has already short-listed 24 companies for the project. It hopes to evaluate bids by the end of October.
Late last year, consultant Access Advisory revealed that the emirate could spend around $100 million to add 50MW of solar-power capacity by the time it hosts the World Expo 2020.
The new capacity will help Dubai meet its target of generating half the additional power needed to run the Expo from renewable resources, Stephane Bontemps, managing director of Access said.