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Bahrain launches solar energy project

Aims to make its power sector more environmentally friendly

| | Jul 11, 2012 | 9:44 am
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Aims to make its power sector more environmentally friendly

In what is reportedly one of the first major solar energy projects in the Middle East, Bahrain has announced plans to implement a solar smart grid in Awali. Bahrain’s National Oil and Gas Authority (NOGA) is implementing five megawatt solar capacity into a wireless smart grid network in cooperation with Petra Solar, Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO) and Caspian Energy Holdings, the announcement elaborated, and added that the grid circumvents common interconnection issues and costs of traditional solar systems because of its ability to install into the current transmission and distribution infrastructure.

“The Middle East has for some time evaluated the integration of solar energy for reduction of reliance on non-renewable energy sources,” Marty Youssefiani, CEO, Caspian Energy Holdings, said. “However, Bahrain is among the first in the region to implement a project of this kind, demonstrating a serious commitment to long term solutions.”

Bahrain’s Minister of Energy, Dr Abdul Hussain bin Ali Mirza, added:

“The project in Awali represents just the first step in a series of initiatives by NOGA to diversify the sources of energy needed to ensure the sustainable development of the Kingdom. Following a successful implementation of this pilot project, we expect that other projects will follow in the near future.”

Gordon Smith, CEO, Bahrain Petroleum Company, said that he believed that the initiative will not only change the landscape of Awali, but more important, the operating philosophy of BAPCO, which hitherto relied totally on fossil fuels for generating its electricity, will also change as a result of the project.

According to the news source, the Kingdom of Bahrain claimed that with this project, it aimed to ultimately transform its energy sector into one that is more environmentally friendly.

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