The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) has collaborated with TotalEnergies Renewables Distributed Generation (DG) Middle East and Africa, an affiliate of TotalEnergies, to create distributed solar energy solutions using solar photovoltaic (PV) panels for the Agency’s newly-constructed Plant Genetic Resource Centre in Al Ain.
The partnership, signed by Dr Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary-General of EAD, and TotalEnergies in the UAE, involves TotalEnergies developing a 330 kWp solar carport for the Genetic Laboratory facility in Al Ain. This solar solution, comprising 680 photovoltaic panels, is expected to generate about 500 MWh of clean energy annually and cover an area of 1,360 square meters of carpark shades. This initiative will help EAD reduce its annual carbon footprint by 200 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to the energy consumption of around 25 homes in a year.
The 20-year solar power equipment lease agreement covers solar installation, operations, maintenance, and energy production at the Plant Genetic Resource Centre by TotalEnergies. This enables the Centre to use solar power for its energy needs.
Ahmed Al Hashmi, Executive Director of the Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity Sector at EAD, expressed excitement about the collaboration, highlighting its contribution to lowering carbon emissions in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, aligning with the Abu Dhabi Climate Change Strategy and the UAE’s goals for clean and renewable energy production by 2035 and carbon neutrality by 2050. Solar energy was chosen for the Plant Genetic Resource Centre to enhance sustainability and support native plant species conservation efforts.
Gipin Mani, UAE and Oman Country Director at TotalEnergies Renewables DG Middle East and Africa, emphasized the partnership’s role in integrating renewable energy solutions into critical infrastructure, fostering environmental stewardship and sustainability.
EAD plans to launch its Plant Genetic Resource Centre by the end of 2023, focusing on plant conservation and genetic diversity preservation. The centre will employ various conservation methods, including genomic and genetic studies, to safeguard UAE flora for future generations.
TotalEnergies, through the TotalEnergies Foundation, has a longstanding partnership with EAD in preserving sensitive ecosystems and reducing carbon intensity in the UAE. Their collaboration dates back to 1999, with the launch of the first conservation program dedicated to dugong conservation.
Additionally, TotalEnergies has partnered with EAD for research initiatives related to managing coastal habitats for climate change resilience.