UAE-based Alec Energy said it has joined hands with North American solar pioneer Solar Earth to introduce the world’s most rugged pavement integrated photovoltaic (PIPV) solutions into the Middle East region.
Solar Earth panels are skid resistant and unlike their traditional counterparts, they have been designed to be extremely rugged - able to withstand up to 5 tonnes of weight and harsh weather conditions.
Consequently, these panels enable public and private sector entities to take traditional sunk costs infrastructure and provide a return on investment, by transforming these into dual-use, revenue-generating surfaces.
Alec Energy’s decision to introduce the technology in the GCC followed months of comprehensive evaluation and feasibility studies to ensure a ‘right fit’ for the needs of the region.
Touted as the ‘Toughest Solar on Earth,’ these solutions will enable governments and private enterprises to confidently carry out wide scale solarization of every hardscape infrastructure such as pavements, roads, plazas, and parking lots, turning these into clean energy generating assets, said a top official.
"While the GCC has been blessed with a perennial abundance of sunlight, the constraints of traditional solar panels have limited the ability to unlock the immense potential of this clean energy source," remarked Basar Kayali, General Manager of Alec Energy, while speaking at an event held to mark the launch of the new technology.
The launch ceremony held at the Alec Group’s modular construction facility in Dubai, was attended by Gabriel Jabbour, Trade Commissioner for the Consulate General of Canada in Dubai as well as other senior officials.
As a demonstration of the capabilities of the pavement integrated photovoltaic (PIPV) solution, Alec Energy utilised 24 sq m solar cells connected to a 22kW electric vehicle charger to recharge a Tesla car.
At the event, Alec Energy also commenced the construction of a 461 kilowatt peak solar plant at the modular construction factory for the generation of enough energy to meet all the needs of its main office building.
"Today, together with Solar Earth, we are redefining what photovoltaic solutions are capable of and thereby enabling an entirely new range of possibilities for their deployment. In doing so, we are helping usher in the new era of solar energy production, one where it is no longer restricted to large solar farms and commercial facilities alone, but can be seamlessly incorporated into the vast amount of commercial, municipal, residential, and other infrastructure that has already been built," he added.
Damarys Zampini, representative of Solar Earth, said: "With countries across the GCC clearly outlining intentions to achieve Net Zero by as early as 2050, regional governments are turning to the private sectors to help pioneer advancements in the future of responsible energy production. We are thrilled to see the UAE taking the lead in innovation, clean energy, and net-zero action."
"Our partnership with Alec Energy, and the landing of our first shipment in the UAE, sets the tone for COP28 and the country's commitment to doing, not just talking, about its Net Zero goals," he added.
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