MANAMA – Petra Solar, Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO) and the National Oil & Gas Authority (NOGA) reached an agreement recently to embark on a 5 MW distributed smart solar energy project. The deal will see the trio utilize smart grid technology to provide solar power at a number of locations, including at BAPCO’s Awali township and the University of Bahrain.
The scheme which will provide solar power and increased efficiency through the use of smart grid technology drew the praised of Bahrain’s Economic Development Board (ECB). "We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Petra Solar, BAPCO and NOGA on this agreement and are delighted that we have been able to make this happen. Investment in this sort of technology is a key part of our plans to create high-quality jobs for Bahrainis through sustainable economic growth for the long term. Importantly, this investment will not only create jobs directly, but also create benefits for other companies by improving energy efficiency," said ECB acting chief executive and Minister of Transportation Kamal bin Ahmed.
The project will use technology developed by Petra Solar in the US, which pairs solar energy generation with grid reliability and smart grid technology.
"Solar power and a stable electric grid are critical elements to Bahrain developing economic and energy security. In Awali, we are deploying solar power plus we are building a wireless smart grid network, which are the building blocks for command and control of smart cities," said Petra Solar president and CEO Shihab Kuran.
Bahrain EDB has been closely involved in the development of the project since initiating discussions with Petra Solar in 2010. As part of the process, the Bahrain EDB conducted visits to Petra Solar’s offices, played an instrumental part in the committee that made the project a reality and also assisted in the setting up of the company in Bahrain.
The project will use smart solar technology which couples solar energy generation with grid reliability and smart grid technology. The technology was developed by Petra Solar, a technology company focused on providing reliable, cost-effective smart energy solutions to the electric supply industry. The initiative will create jobs at several skill levels in Bahrain and will also provide a strong R&D opportunity for Bahraini universities.
Featuring a high-tech research and development component inside Bahrain, this project marks the first step in plans to build a powerful ecosystem in Awali, based on Petra Solar’s technology. This smart city ecosystem is the foundation for future applications and economic and infrastructure development opportunities in Bahrain such as outage management, intelligent street lighting controls, smart meters, smart appliances, electric vehicles, HVAC communicating controllers, demand response, Volt/VAr automated management, and, optionally, community storage.
The EDB is a dynamic public agency with an overall responsibility for attracting inward investment into Bahrain, and is focusing on target economic sectors in which the Kingdom offers significant strengths. The EDB played an instrumental role in attracting over $300 million of investment from international businesses across a wide range of sectors in 2011. Petra Solar, which will be operating under the name ’Petra Solar SPC’ in Bahrain, completed its in-country registration on 5 June 2012. This commercial registration authorizes the company to operate in-country for this and future smart city projects. – SG/Agencies