Ras Al Khaimah has prequalified companies for its distributed solar initiative with a total aggregate capacity of 15 megawatts peak (MWp). The emirate had rolled out its zero-export distributed solar program with a first aggregated solar tender across multiple locations in September 2020.
“More than 80 companies from 10 countries participated in the pre-qualification round of the tender and 21 companies were selected to submit their proposals,” the Ras Al Khaimah municipality disclosed in its 2020 annual report on the emirate’s energy efficiency and renewables strategy.
The prequalification notice was issued by the Municipality following the successful completion of the 230 kWp pilot solar carport project at its head office. The tender aggregated solar PV procurement across multiple government and private clients, thus creating substantial economies of scale.
“The innovative structure of the tender, developed in collaboration with Ras Al Khaimah’s Investment and Development Office (IDO), also allows flexibility for clients to procure rooftop, carport, and ground-mounted installations under either commercial lease or engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) models,” the report said.
With the development of net-metering regulation for distributed solar installations in progress at the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, conditional permissions were granted by Etihad Water and Electricity (EtihadWE) for the initial phase of zero-export projects.
Ras Al Khaimah has set an ambitious target to achieve 1,200 MWp of solar capacity by 2040, of which about 600 MWp is expected to come from distributed installations and the remaining from utility-scale projects.
“Initial evaluations on utility-scale solar have also begun and land areas in Ras Al Khaimah are being studied to assess their potential,” the report said. The first, second, and third phases of utility-scale solar would be rolled out in 2021, 2030, and 2035, according to the report.
Reem, the energy efficiency and renewable energy office of the municipality, also explored other applications of renewable energy including floating solar PV, solar absorption cooling, and wind energy, the report said, adding that preliminary studies on the potential for ocean energy and green hydrogen are ongoing and are expected to be completed in 2021.