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K∙A∙CARE Announces Plans for Localization of Machine-Assisted Solar Cleaning Solutions (MACS)

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King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (K∙A∙CARE) announces its plan to launch the Machine-Assisted Cleaning Solutions (MACS) project.

As a part of the National Transformation Program 2020 (NTP) supporting Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030, MACS is one of the projects of the Technology Localization initiative to increase the local content through a private sector partnership.

Today the K∙A∙CARE announces plans to lead this project aimed at localizing the technology of photovoltaic module cleaning. K∙A∙CARE plans to release a request for proposals for the project on 12 June 2017, with the program objective to commercialize cleaning technologies for PV systems in Saudi Arabia. The expected outcome is increased Saudi private sector participation in such technologies and increased local content in the renewable energy sector by manufacturing some or all parts with in the kingdom.

The environmental conditions in KSA result in continuous deposits of soil and dust on PV panels, resulting in power losses. Many solar plants are deployed in locations that cannot be accessed and manually cleaned easily. Similar conditions prevail in desert regions throughout the world. An automated cleaning technology that can mitigate against these losses therefore has high localization potential for future PV projects in the MENA region and other desert climates. A key challenge for this technology is establishing the lowest overall LCOE considering the cost of machines, water, and human resources.

The manufacturing operations required for this type of product are also well-suited to the existing manufacturing capabilities in the Kingdom. Government action will aid this development by providing an opportunity to develop the business and technical capability of the private sector.

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