UAE’s leading distributed solar energy provider, SirajPower, announced it has signed a partnership with Kent College Dubai to install a solar rooftop plant and solar carport of 1.3 MWp system capacity, generating 2.3 GWh of annual energy production and displacing approximately 1,600 metric tons of CO2 per annum which also corresponds to 200 million smartphones being charged.
The school is SirajPower’s first project in the education sector and currently the largest in scale in Dubai. The initiative supports the school’s effort to promote education on sustainable development and is also in line with the UAE’s vision to empower youth and build sustainability awareness. Education is one of the UAE Government’s top priorities in its endeavour to develop its human capital and a diversified knowledge-based economy. Recent reports also ranked the UAE among the top countries to take a leadership role in education for sustainable development to create sustainability citizens.
Laurent Longuet, CEO at SirajPower, said: “Over the past few years, we consolidated our market-leading position in the commercial and industrial sectors. Since the beginning of 2020 and despite the challenging market conditions, we secured a major funding deal, managed to diversify our portfolio, and have already expanded into new sectors such as residential and now education. Our partnership with Kent College is particularly meaningful as it supports our aim to educate the next generation on sustainability through renewable sources. It will enrich classrooms’ day-to-day life with a real-life example of the benefits of solar energy.
At a time when our new generation is more and more concerned about the environment and the impact of climate change, such initiative is a step forward towards building awareness on how the private sector is implementing the green vision of our UAE leadership. For the youth, the green economy also represents a significant market capable of creating many new job opportunities, encouraging them to consider a career in a key sector where they can play an active role towards a greener planet. We see more UAE schools willing to shift to solar and are keen to support them and widen our portfolio in this promising sector.”
Global market research shows that schools are reporting savings that have been enough to protect, for instance, teaching positions amid budget cuts, update technology, and expand extracurricular opportunities for students. In such circumstances, solar energy can help balance the budget.
Anthony Cashin, Principal at Kent College Dubai, said: “Earlier this year, the Kent College community welcomed the initiative that will see the development of a long-term relationship with SirajPower for the betterment of our environment, through the optimisation of electricity usage here at the school. The solar panel installed will see a reduction of our DEWA electricity costs of up to 50%, thus focusing on the school’s commitment to more sustainable energy solutions as well as a reduction of our carbon footprint.
We are honoured to be SirajPower’s first school project here in the UAE. We welcome their commitment in meeting the challenge laid down by the Dubai Government Vision 2021. This joint commitment displays a shared sense of corporate social responsibility that strengthens the action taken by our pupils to ensure that we use our resources efficiently and responsibly, thereby minimising the negative impact on society and the planet.”
Fundamental to positioning a country as a world leader in environmental education is building a knowledge-based economy. Some countries have recently made efforts to make climate change and sustainability an essential element of their educational model. For instance, Italy announced in 2019 that it would make learning about climate change compulsory for school students, making it also the first country in the world to take such initiative. The Middle East, with around half its population under the age of 25, has the potential to make significant contributions to the sustainable development of the region and the world.
Kent College Dubai is part of the Mir Hashem Khoory Group (MHK), a strong local group of companies with a wide business portfolio in different sectors. The group has also signed earlier this year another partnership with SirajPower to support the MHK Cold Store, a temperature- controlled storage facility located in Dubai for all kinds of food and specialized products (800kWp system capacity with 1.4 GWh of annual energy production).
Kent College also formed in 2018 a group called ‘The Kent ECOllege group’ and followed the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an intergovernmental organisation that advises governments on scientific findings regarding global climates.