Oman Shell recently announced the completion of its ‘Solar into Schools’ project, which is Shell’s fifth ‘Gift to The Nation’ initiative in 2016. In this project, Oman Shell collaborated with the Ministry of Education and a number of local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to install solar photovoltaic (PV) generation systems in 22 public schools across the Sultanate over a period of five years.
Three more schools were added with solar PV systems set to be installed within the period from2021-2023.
The Solar into Schools initiative helped to install about 27 megawatts (MW) of PV solar plants. These projects help to reduce CO2 emissions (estimated 2,000 tonnes p.a). The project piloted the first PV solar system in Oman raising the awareness of new generations of low-carbon energy solutions.
The project also saw the implementation of Shell’s NXplorers educational programme in all 22 schools. Through this programme, Shell aimed to promote the students' scientific knowledge and skills and demonstrate that knowledge practically through direct interaction with solar PV systems in their schools. During the programme, more than 1,400 students were trained with the participation of more than 130 teachers from various schools in the Omani governorates and wilayats (provinces).
Commenting on the completion of the Solar into Schools project, Walid Hadi, Oman Shell’s VP and Board Chairman said, “Initiatives like these are a part of our commitment towards supporting the Sultanate’s energy transition while also contributing to the national economic diversification goals outlined in Oman Vision 2040. While the ‘Solar into Schools’ project harnessed Oman’s potential for solar energy development and deployment, it also played an important role in raising awareness of the benefits of using low-carbon energy sources amongst the community, boosting interest amongst the Omani youth in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) educational streams and inspiring them to take up entrepreneurial renewable energy roles in the future.”
By partnering with local SMEs to execute the Solar into Schools project, Oman Shell was able to foster the growth and development of the renewable energy sector while empowering individual entrepreneurs with the knowledge and skills to capitalize on potential business opportunities.
Dr. Abdullah bin Khamis Ambusaidi Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education said: “I would like to extend our thanks and recognition to Oman Shell for its continuous and fruitful cooperation with the Ministry of Education in consolidating students’ awareness of clean energy and its importance in our future lives by adopting two major projects in this area. The first project is the Solar into Schools project, where solar PV systems have been installed in 22 public schools across the Sultanate over the past five years and the first solar PV systems have been piloted in Oman. The project focused on educating generations about the importance of clean energy solutions.
The second one is NXplorers educational programme, which was also implemented in the 22 schools, through which Shell aims to enhance students' scientific knowledge and skills and practically demonstrate that knowledge through direct interaction with solar PV systems in their schools. We in the Ministry of Education commend this cooperation and hope to continue to cooperate with Shell to take scientific projects to a better and broader horizon".
Majid bin Saeed bin Sulaiman al Bahri, Undersecretary for Administrative and Financial Affairs in Ministry of Education said: "The Ministry of Education seeks to optimize the use of renewable energy sources and to reduce the cost of electricity at the Ministry’s buildings by increasing the utilization of renewable energy through cutting-edge technologies in this space.
The Solar into Schools project helps to lower the electricity bills through the power generated by PV panels, thus saving schools the high cost of grid power, increasing awareness of solar energy through the training package developed from the curriculum, and creating viable business opportunities for SMEs entrepreneurs". "The project included the design, installation and operation of PV system structures on the ground, canopies and roofs, in a parallel network. These systems are expected to generate up to 150 MWh per year at each location. We also extend our sincere thanks to Oman Shell for its generous support to the educational process in the Sultanate, wishing them continued success.”, he added.
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