Bahrain inks landmark Solar project deal
Manama, August 5, 2012
Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) and the National Oil & Gas Authority (Noga) have signed an agreement with US-based Petra Solar to develop a 5 megawatt distributed smart solar energy project in the Kingdom.
Petra Solar is a technology company focused on providing reliable, cost-effective smart energy solutions to the electric supply industry.
Lauding the trio for the strategic project, Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) said the scheme is aimed at providing solar energy and increased efficiency through the use of smart grid technology to a number of locations in the country, including the Bapco township of Awali and the University of Bahrain.
Bahrain EDB pointed out that it has been closely involved in the development of the project since initiating discussions with Petra Solar in 2010.
As part of the process, the Bahrain EDB conducted visits to Petra Solar’soffices, played an instrumental part in the committee that made the project a reality and also assisted in the setting up of the company in Bahrain.
Kamal bin Ahmed, the Minister of Transportation and acting chief executive of EDB, said: “We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Petra Solar, Bapco and Noga on this deal and are delighted that we have been able to help make this happen.'
'Investment in this sort of technology is a key part of our plans to create high-quality jobs for Bahrainis through sustainable economic growth for the long term. Importantly, this investment will not only create jobs directly, but also create benefits for other companies by improving energy efficiency,” the minister added.
Dr Shihab Kuran, the president and CEO of Petra Solar, said solar power and a stable electric grid were critical elements to Bahrain's developing economic and energy security.
“In Awali, we are deploying solar power plus we are building a wireless smart grid network, which are the building blocks for command and control of smart cities,” Dr Kuran explained.
The project, he said, will use the smart solar technology which couples solar energy generation with grid reliability and smart grid technology.
According to Dr Kuran, the smart solar technology was developed in the US by Petra Solar.
Featuring a high-tech research and development component inside Bahrain, this project marks the first step in plans to build a powerful ecosystem in Awali, based on Petra Solar’s technology.
This smart city ecosystem is the foundation for future applications and economic and infrastructure development opportunities in Bahrain such as outage management, intelligent street lighting controls, smart meters, smart appliances, electric vehicles, HVAC communicating controllers, demand response, Volt/VAr automated management, and, optionally, community storage.
Also the initiative will create jobs at several skill levels in Bahrain and will also provide a strong R&D opportunity for Bahraini universities, said EDB, the dynamic public agency with an overall responsibility for attracting inward investment into Bahrain.-TradeArabia News Service