Times of Oman
Muscat: A rooftop solar Photo Voltaic (PV) system has been inaugurated in one of the public schools in the town of Al Rumais, making it the first solar powered school in Barka.
“The system provides more than 80KWp of electricity through 252 solar panels with a capacity of 325 Wp per unit, which covers approximately 500 m2 of the roof of the school,” said Hamed Al Maghderi, Country Director of ENGIE, Oman.
“I would like to thank the school and the Ministry of Education for allowing us to start this project that took four months to be completed. It will contribute towards the society, as renewable energy is the future of the country.”
Moreover, the PV system is committed to producing a minimum of 100 MWh per year in normal weather conditions. As a result, it generates a significant portion of the energy consumed by the school.
At the inauguration ceremony at Hind Bint Usayd Al Ansariya School in Barka, Maghderi said that with this project, the company has achieved three objectives for Oman.
“First, it contributes to the clean energy development of the Sultanate. Secondly, it supports local small and medium enterprises in the renewable power sector, pushing innovative energy solutions. And finally, it allows us to educate students about solar power, thereby creating awareness on the transition to renewable energy.”
While delivering a sustainable and practical resource for the school itself, the project also allows educating students about solar power and clean energy, thus, making an important contribution to the STEM (Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics) education of these girls.
Promoting STEM education is a vital component of the Omanisation policies put in place by the government to equip young Omanis with the future skills necessary to compete in the job market.
Talking about future projects, Maghderi said there is a second project coming up soon that has been approved by the Ministry for a school in Liwa, close to the port of Sohar, and is now under preparation.
“We are also coming up with a project that deals with the ecosystem. It will be educational as you will get to learn about the ecosystem, as well as how to protect it, and how to produce vegetables. Having said that, we are also thinking about another project in Al Sharqiyah which could be from solid waste,” Maghderi added, while speaking exclusively to Times of Oman.
ENGIE, one of the a worldwide leaders in energy transition, along with its four Independent Power Producers that it co-owns in Oman – SMN Power Holding, Al Batinah Power, Al Suwadi Power and Al Kamil Power – jointly signed the Memorandum of Understanding for the project with the Omani Ministry of Education last year in December 2017.
The construction started in July 2018 in collaboration with two Omani entrepreneurs, HTC and Solar Hornet, and on November 15, the first power plant was produced.