ADDC train up for solar project

Programme aims to generate 500MW through rooftop solar.

Rooftop solar installations are one aspect of Abu Dhabi's renewables drive.
Rooftop solar installations are one aspect of Abu Dhabi's renewables drive.

The Abu Dhabi Distribution Company (ADDC) has sent its engineers to a training programme at the Berlin-based RENAC renewables academy in preparation of a project encouraging the installation of solar panels in private properties.

The Solar Rooftop Programme (SRP) aims to install a total capacity of 500MW of solar power in small-scale application on private homes by 2030, and feed excess capacity into the grid. The programme will provide financial incentives to households who install solar panels, the ADDC have said on their websites.

While the company has not provided details on these incentives, they could involve a variation of feed-in tariffs, a form of renewables subsidy practiced by countries around the world. Nick Carter, director general of the Abu Dhabi Regulation & Supervision Bureau announced last month that Abu Dhabi would be paying the operators of solar plants the differential between the cost of production and the retail price for electricity.

Abu Dhabi has set itself the target of meeting seven percent of its electricity needs from renewable sources by 2020.

Although the region has very high levels of solar radiation, it also suffers from high humidity, and abundant dust and sand. In the pilot project different PV systems will be tested in order to determine the optimal plant size, selection of components and the installation angle under local conditions.

ADDC engineers will monitor the installation and undertake the connection to the grid. The curriculum at the RENAC academy course included topics such as system design, installation, maintenance, monitoring, and network integration.

"The workshop was really helpful in skilling our engineers to meet the challenges of the Solar Roof Program, particularly because of its blended mix between theory and practical hands-on training", said Jürgen Beigel, Senior Project Manager for Abu Dhabi's Solar Roof Programme.


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