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In 2022, KarmSolar became the first private company to receive a permit to distribute electricity in Marsa Alam by the Egyptian Electricity Regulatory Agency. Accordingly, KarmSolar launched the Marsa Alam Solar Grid, a first-of-its-kind regional energy solution that aims to power resorts across Marsa Alam with a connection to the national grid and solar energy. KarmSolar will distribute 10 MW to 8 resorts with grid connections and dedicated PV stations.
KarmSolar’s first project in Marsa Alam was back in July 2015. Marsa Shagra Resort (Red Sea Diving Safari) signed a PV/Diesel Hybrid Solar PPA, contributing renewable energy to the resort’s consumption and significantly lowering their energy bills. Since then, KarmSolar replicated the same model with 5 new hybrid PPA stations for resorts across Marsa Alam, thereby ensuring that their electrical needs were being satisfied with a renewable and economical source of energy.
The reason Marsa Alam served as an attractive destination for KarmSolar’s next venture was essentially due to its status as a thriving touristic destination, as well as its being an off-grid location. Consequently, the primary source of energy for all Marsa Alam occupants is diesel generators. This has posed quite an issue for the many residents of Marsa Alam, especially since diesel generators are an exceptionally problematic energy source due to the role they play in releasing various kinds of pollution.
The permit awarded by the Egyptian Electricity Regulatory Agency allows us to distribute electricity to North Marsa Alam locations Marsa Shagra Resort, The Oasis, Wadi Sabbara, Equinox 3 Corners, and Solidaire Resort as part of Phase I of the project.
Through the Marsa Alam Solar Grid, KarmSolar has signed agreements with the participating resorts to cover their grid-connection costs and install a dedicated solar energy station at each location. The resorts will be charged KarmSolar electricity bills and will consume energy generated from the solar station and the national grid, relieving them of their dependency on diesel generators that are costly to operate and produce high emissions.
“The Marsa Alam Solar Grid provides a valuable opportunity to previously off-grid resorts in the area to enjoy the benefits of solar energy and grid-connection without having to invest millions upfront. We’re looking forward to expanding the project in Marsa Alam, and we are already exploring new Solar Grid opportunities around Egypt,” said Ahmed Zahran, co-founder, and CEO at KarmSolar.
He added, “Marsa Alam is a thriving sea-side region, and one of the most renowned scuba-diving destinations around the world. We’re proud to be among the organizations investing in the infrastructure of this unique corner of Egypt. KarmSolar will continue its mission to offer sustainable, fully integrated solar energy and water desalination solutions, with the objective of powering and sustainably empowering communities across Egypt.”
“One of my dreams for Marsa Shagra was to stop using diesel generators because they are horrible for the environment. I dreamt of using a renewable energy source that is sustainable and accessible,” said Hossam Helmy, Founder of Red Sea Diving Safari (Marsa Shagra Resort).
He added, “The Marsa Alam Solar Grid project also is very economical, especially considering the national grid connection. We are grateful to the state for extending the national grid to Marsa Alam. Grid-power costs us half of what electricity from diesel generators used to us, and coupled with solar energy from KarmSolar, our energy setup is cost-effective and optimized.”
Phase II will add the Marriott Ayoun Misr (under development) to the North Marsa Alam Solar Grid, and in Phase III, we will be establishing the South Marsa Alam Solar Grid to the project, which includes Azure Wadi Lahmy, and Lahamy Bay Resort among other locations.
The 8 participating resorts have all signed electricity distribution agreements with KarmSolar, activating their subscription to the project as soon as official permits are awarded. Subscription to the Marsa Alam Solar Grid is still open to resorts and destinations in Marsa Alam looking to join the national grid through an official grid connection provided by KarmSolar, and benefit from a dedicated solar energy station.
The cost of grid connection amounts to 5-9 Million EGP per resort (depending on the distance from the national grid connection point) and will be completely covered by KarmSolar. Participating resorts will be paying KarmSolar electricity bills, and receive their energy from their dedicated solar station as well as the national grid.
Also, as aforementioned, the emissions of greenhouse gases produced from diesel are particularly harmful to the environment as they contribute to the erosion of the ozone layer. On a slightly less crucial note, diesel generators are also notoriously loud, thereby producing noise pollution as well, which can be especially aggravating for the guests staying at the hotel.
As a result, connecting to the national grid while simultaneously utilizing solar energy will provide the participating hotels with much more economical, reliable, and environmental electricity rather than their previous energy setups.