Dubai International's Terminal 2 now boasts the largest solar energy system of any airport in the region, made up of 15,000 photovoltaic panels installed by Etihad Energy Services Company (Etihad Esco), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa).
The solar project will generate 7,483,500 kilowatt/hours of energy annually for Dubai Airports, which operates DXB, the world's busiest international airport, and will result in an estimated savings of Dh3.3 million. The project will reduce existing Terminal 2 load by approximately 29 per cent, while also slashing annual CO2 emissions by 3,243 tonnes, Dubai Airports said.
The project is part of Shams Dubai, Dewa’s initiative that aims to promote the use of clean renewable energy sources. The programme encourages installation of solar panels on rooftops to generate electricity from solar power and connecting it to Dewa’s grid to transfer surplus generation. Etihad Esco will provide maintenance services for Dubai Airports for a period of seven years from completion.
"Dubai Airports has undertaken a variety of green initiatives over the past several years to limit our carbon footprint and support Dubai's goal for a 30 per cent reduction in the city's energy consumption by 2030," said Michael Ibbitson, executive vice president of infrastructure and technology at Dubai Airports. "In addition to enabling us to limit our carbon footprint while cutting costs, these initiatives also support our long-term vision for a carbon neutral future in line with the aviation industry's target."
Etihad Esco aims to retrofit 30,000 buildings by 2030 and is currently preparing to implement Dh400m worth of projects, expanding beyond building retrofits to include industrial retrofits and solar projects, it said.
Dubai is expected to roll out an energy efficiency programme targeting industry by 2021, Etihad Esco told The National in April.
Known as the Super Esco for its role as an accreditor and regulator of firms engaged in the sector, Etihad Esco has been mulling industry-specific targets for the emirate, starting with its logistics sector.
"What we see from experience, the most important thing for industrial facilities is solar because of large areas of roof that we have over these facilities so solar will be the most easy, quick win thing to do," Ali Al Jassim, chief executive at Etihad Esco told The National at the time.
Etihad Esco is eyeing Dh500m worth of energy savings by 2030 from multimillion-dollar projects, primarily from retrofitting and solar rooftop deployment.