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First Solar joins KAUST New Energy Oasis programme

Solar firm joins with university to test PV in extreme conditions

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The programme will test First Solar's PV systems in the heat of the Red Sea coast. (GETTY IMAGES)
The programme will test First Solar's PV systems in the heat of the Red Sea coast. (GETTY IMAGES)

PV solar firm First Solar has joined with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) to work on the university’s New Energy Oasis programme aimed at alternative energy. The company has donated a 3.2kWp photovoltaic system, incorporating 40 solar modules, which the company and KAUST will test in the extremely hot conditions of the Red Sea coast.

The equipment being tested also includes a ground-based mounting structure, an inverter and a state-of-the-art weather forecasting system. The aim of the New Energy Oasis programme is to research the performance of alternative energy sources that can be used in Saudi Arabia.

“By providing platforms for testing and demonstrating PV technologies from leading companies such as First Solar, we can thoroughly test clean alternatives to traditional energy sources and ensure the best suitability to Saudi Arabian conditions,” said KAUST’s Dr Raed Bkayrat, head of the Technology Application and Advancement Group.

First Solar’s executive vice president James Brown has said that the programme has given his company the opportunity to contribute to Saudi Arabia’s push to utilise the sun’s energy, whilst showcasing First Solar’s capabilities in a market with massive potential.

 

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