13 Nov 2018

Harnessing the power of the sun – Solar energy in Dubai

Authored by: Ahmad Sergieh and Khalid Mirza

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has launched the ‘Shams Dubai’ smart initiative, which according to DEWA’s website, is aimed at ‘encouraging building owners to install photovoltaic (PV) solar panels to generate electricity from solar power’. The electricity is used on-site and the surplus is exported to DEWA’s grid and will be credited and used to off-set future consumption of electricity. This initiative came about after the issue of Executive Council Resolution No. 46 of 2014 which relates to the production of solar energy in Dubai.

Steps to connect to DEWA’s electricity grid

Below is a summary of the steps required to connect to DEWA’s electricity grid, from engaging with the DEWA appointed contractor / consultants to the producing of power.

1. Engaging with Contractors / Consultants

Customers must contact one of DEWA’s enrolled consultants or contractors to investigate feasibility and get guidance on the best solution for the solar PV system in compliance with DEWA standards.

2. No objection Certificate (NOC) Application

The consultant or contractor submits an application to DEWA requesting a NOC from them.

3. Design Approval / Application

Upon receiving the NOC from DEWA, the consultant or contractor must submit an application along with the relevant documents for solar PV design approval.

4. Technical Design Approval Download

Upon receiving the solar PV design approval, the assigned consultant or contract will be provided with an estimate of the applicable connection fee.

5. Notification to DEWA

The consultant or contractor must notify DEWA through their system that field works have been completed and the installation is ready for inspection and connection.

6. Site Inspection & Connection

The consultant or contractor coordinates with DEWA and the customer to facilitate site technical inspection, signing of the connection agreement, meter installation and connection of the solar PV system to DEWA grid.

7. Solar Generation

Once the system is connected, the customer can generate their own electricity using solar energy and feed any surplus back to the DEWA grid. DEWA will offset the customer’s bill accordingly.

General information

  • The consultant or contractor will act as the customer’s agent and will advise them on the best possible solution for their system.
  • A number of technical documents need to be submitted to DEWA, such as the site plans, system design plans and details of the proposed equipment, compliance with DEWA regulations.
  • For installation above 100 kw, a plant performance test should have been completed successfully.
  • For systems with installed capacity over 400 kw, the cost of some dedicated equipment for grid integration might be added to the standard connection fee. A budgetary estimate of such cost can be provided in the early stages of application process upon request, provided the consultant or contractor submits the required technical information.

Conclusion

Solar power offers a number of benefits to businesses, e.g. it reduces electricity bills, increases the value of property and reduces their carbon footprint.

We act for a number of businesses involved in the solar energy sector and would be happy to assist in providing further advice which may be applicable to specific needs.

For more information, please contact us on sectors@hadefpartners.com.