Solar energy plan for traffic lights

Bahrain - - RAFFIC lights across Bahrain will be powered by solar energy, as part of a five-year strategy to integrate alternative energies into electricity and water production.

The strategy, which is set for implementation in December 2020, also includes the building of the first government solar centre, said Energy Minister Dr Abdulhussain Mirza.

He was responding, in writing, to a question by MP Abdulhameed Al Najjar on renewable energy projects.

"The National Renewable Energy Action Plan, which will be completed in December 2020, will draw up short- and long-term policies on the integration of solar and wind energies," said Dr Mirza.

"The first five years of the strategy set-up will see short-term plans implemented, while long-term plans will be from 2020 until 2030.

"We have already launched successful projects in Awali, Bahrain University and Bapco Refinery with around 5,000 kilowatt energy being produced. It enters the Electricity and Water Authority's network and is being used to supply the three sites.

"The integration process is followed up through a smart system at Bapco's control room and our main control centre in Umm Al Hassam, and the statistics we gather is being directed towards our strategies."


Dr Mirza explained that different projects would be introduced simultaneously across the country as alternative energy becomes a viable source.

"Tatweer Petroleum is set to introduce a pilot project to establish a solar energy centre to power its new headquarters with one megawatt, with excess energy being transferred to the main electricity network after the completion of the first phase," he said.

"GPIC has reduced its carbon emissions with solar water heating -- 14,181 kilowatt per hour has been saved annually since 2011 in the process and more will be saved with additional expansions. "The Princess Sabeeka Park in Awali is the only centre in the Arab world that works on solar, wind and hydrogen energies with a 6.7 kilowatt capacity network and this has saved 100 kilowatt per hour annually and 300 tonnes of carbon dioxide with new studies being carried out by Bapco to elevate the experience."

Dr Mirza said the first major government solar energy centre would be built at a production capacity of five kilowatt.

A consultancy firm has completed a study about the centre and a German company has been selected to work on the project, which will be built near Al Dur Water Desalination Plant.

"It is just a test centre working on a limited scale and will be built on 120,000sqm and it will be later connected to the main electricity network," explained Dr Mirza.

"We have already replaced streetlights in Juffair and Hidd with solar sourcing lamps which will later be spread across Bahrain.


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