Etihad Esco to install solar panels at villas in Hatta

Company also plans to tender projects to retrofit Dubai International Airport's three main terminals and car parks this year.

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Etihad Esco is to undertake a project to install and maintain solar panels on up to 640 residential villas in Hatta.

Ali Al Jassim, the chief executive of Etihad Esco, said on Tuesday that a tender inviting qualified companies bid for work installing and maintaining panels on top of the homes will be advertised on Wednesday.

The maintenance element will initially last for two years, during which householders will also be briefed on how to look after the panels themselves, but Mr Al Jassim said the contract could be extended, if required.

“For Hatta, it will be the largest [rooftop] solar project in the region,” he said, pointing out that Diamond Developers’ The Sustainable City project comprises just 500 villas.

Etihad Esco was set up as a joint venture between Dewa and Dubai's Supreme Council of Energy to oversee retrofitting projects targeting up to 30,000 buildings with a view to achieving energy savings of at least 20 per cent.

The company said that it managed to achieve Dh34 million of savings in energy and water costs in 2016 through retrofit projects covering 2,178 buildings. Its biggest project has involved retrofitting 157 staff accommodation buildings in Jebel Ali Free Zone, where annual savings of Dh22m have been achieved by replacing 85,000 light fixtures, 31,000 water fixtures and 5,000 air conditioner units.

It also managed to shave 75 per cent off Dewa’s energy use by replacing light bulbs at its Jebel Ali and Al Aweer power stations.

The company is also handling retrofit projects for Dubai International Financial Centre and the Mohammed bin Rashid Housing Establishment initiative, among others.

Mr Al Jassim said payback per­iods for projects carried out to date have varied between three and six years, although it has a project currently in the tender process with an anticipated payback of just two years.

This year, the firm is targeting retrofits of another 2,000 buildings and is likely to tender major retrofit projects at Dubai International Airport once an audit of existing energy use is complete.

“DXB is a complex place and there are people who are coming 24 hours a day. So we will start with five facilities – terminals 1, 2 and 3, and the car parks,” he said.

“We will tender these facilities so that we can do a retrofit for lighting and the air condititiong. We will also look at the water consumption.”

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