BAHRAIN has taken a giant step forward in augmenting its renewable energy capacity with the signing of agreements to implement a major solar power project in Sakhir.

The 72-megawatt multi-site solar photovoltaic power project comprises rooftop, ground-mounted, car park solar power systems and electric vehicle charging stations at the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC), University of Bahrain, Exhibition World Bahrain and Al Dana Amphitheatre.

Electricity and Water Affairs Minister Yasser Humaidan said during the ceremony yesterday to sign the deals that the project aims to achieve the kingdom’s goals of reducing carbon emissions and reaching net zero by 2060.

It is also in line with the endeavours of the government, led by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, to support initiatives to address the challenges of climate change.

While patronising the ceremony, the minister affirmed that the project, which was among the initiatives of Bahrain’s National Renewable Energy Action Plan, confirmed the importance of expanding the use of solar energy to preserve the environment and ensure the sustainability of resources.

The solar park project would contribute to achieving sustainable economic development for the nation and its citizens, Mr Humaidan said.

It will also help the kingdom meet its international commitments, the minister said.

BIC chief executive Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa said the project is consistent with BIC’s plan to expand the use of solar and other sources of renewable energy throughout the year.

It will support BIC’s operations during the hosting of regional and global events, and contribute to honouring its pledges to reduce carbon emissions, towards reaching carbon neutrality, he said.

President Dr Fuad Al Ansari highlighted the university’s keenness to promote the culture of sustainability, as well as preserve the environment and its resources.

He noted that the use of solar energy at the university’s buildings and facilities is in line with its sustainable development strategy.

Dr Al Ansari said that consolidating the kingdom’s status as a model based on a sustainable, low-carbon economy is a top priority at the university, citing its recent launch of a Master of Science programme in sustainable energy transition systems, which is the first of its kind in the kingdom.

Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority CEO Dr Nasser Qaedi affirmed that the use of solar energy at the Exhibition World Bahrain was in line with Bahrain’s policies to adopt renewable and clean energy, noting that the project would contribute significantly to reducing traditional energy consumption and preserving the environment.

This will also lead to strengthening the kingdom’s efforts to promote sustainable development and ensure the sustainability of infrastructure development in accordance with international best practices, he said.

Al Dana Amphitheatre chief executive Shane Chalmers expressed pride in the initiatives that ensure the expansion of the use of renewable energy.

The signing of an agreement to install solar panels at Al Dana Amphitheatre will support the use of solar energy, which is environment-friendly, and contributes to decarbonisation efforts by using sustainable energy solutions and reducing the total cost of energy, Mr Chalmers said.

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