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Dubai Airports to build solar array in partnership with state utility

Dubai Airports will build a solar array on the roof of Al Maktoum International airport in partnership with state utility company, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA). 18 Mar 2015

Surplus power generated by the solar array will be fed directly into the power grid, in the first of several similar projects across Dubai, Dubai Airports said in a statement.

The 100-panel solar array has a capacity of 30KW and will generate about 48.8MWh of electricity a year for the Dubai World Central (DWC), the commercial and residential site where Al Maktoum International airport is based.

"The solar array is just one of several projects across our airports aimed at adopting ways to limit our environmental impact while safeguarding the significant economic and social contributions the aviation sector provides Dubai. Initiatives such as these take us a step closer to achieving that ambition," said Majed Al Joker, vice president of operations for DWC.

The project is part of a broader environmental drive, the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, which aims to reduce the United Arab Emirate's use of fossil fuels. The strategy aims to increase the share of renewable energy in Dubai's total power output to 7% by 2020 and to 15% by 2030, Dubai Airports said.

In its own statement, DEWA said its initiative encourages tenants and building owners to install photovoltaic solar panels to generate electricity. DEWA will then connect these systems to its grid.

"Our aim is to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world and make society happier by providing smart, instant, and seamless services around the clock," said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, DEWA chief executive.

The solar panel project will be followed by a second initiative "to install smart meters and networks that contribute to fast-service connection, fast response, and rationalise energy use, and also our third initiative, to establish the infrastructure to build 100 electric vehicle charging stations this year," Al Tayer said.