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RAK pilots solar islands

Results due in two years time, could lead to fully blown project.

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Ras Al Khaimah is exploring the offshore use of solar.
Ras Al Khaimah is exploring the offshore use of solar.

 Ras Al Khaimah is developing a series of floating solar islands off its coast in a bid to solve its power issues, it was reported on Monday.

According to a report in the National, a prototype is currently being tested with results due in two years time that could lead the way to a full blown solar project.

The solar islands may range in size from 500m to 5km in diameter and hover up to 20m off the ground, the report stated. Small prototypes are being tested in the desert, which can produce up to 1 megawatt (MW) of power – enough to cool or heat a small shopping mall, according to the report.

“The basic technology is known and it works,” Dr Hamid Kayal, chief executive of CSEM-UAE, the company behind the project, told the paper. “The problem is not in the technology, the problem is using it in a reliable and an effective way.

“The prototype is not to show we can produce electricity; it is to show how economically we can produce it, at what size, and where.”

The RAK government is providing funding for the project on a six-month basis, the report said.

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