Lankan firm Votum powers Oman’s biggest private sector solar PV project

Thursday, 30 April 2015 01:45 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

[caption id="attachment_413503" align="alignnone" width="600"] A section of the 4000, 300-watt solar panels generating 1.2 Mw of electricity in Oman which was designed and installed by Votum[/caption] Earlier this week Votum Global Energy Solutions Ltd. (Votum) successfully commissioned a 1.2 Mw solar PV solution for an Omani multinational company Renaissance Services SAOG’s (Renaissance) Permanent Accommodation for Contractor Camp at Fahud.In a major breakthrough signifying local engineering prowess, a Sri Lankan firm has powered Oman’s biggest private sector solar PV solution. The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) was conducted by Votum, the international subsidiary of Votum Energy Solutions, an Australian-based renewable and solar PV consulting and EPCcompany. The Fahud PAC is owned and operated by Renaissance and provides serviced accommodation facilities for Petroleum Development Oman’s (PDO) contractors. Votum offered Renaissance a unique engineering solution whereby the car park area was utilised in order to house the panels. The 4000, 300-watt solar panels were designed and installed by creating a sheltered car park structure which will provide the PAC with 10,000 square meters of shaded parking. The project is the largest commercial scale PV project undertaken in Oman and is a landmark project for the country. The 4,000 polycrystalline solar panels installed will generate approximately over 2.2 millionkilowatt-hours of clean, green electricity for the Renaissance Fahud Facility each year – enough energy to power 150 average Omani homes. “Votum Energy is proud to be a part of this landmark project in Oman,” Votum Energy Chairman Errol Weerasinghe said. “We hope that the project will rapidly accelerate Oman’s vision of producing 10% of Oman’s total electricity requirements from renewable energy sources by 2020,” he added. The company’s CEO and Chief Engineer Ananda Sebastian said: “Renaissance wanted a cost-effective, multi -purpose and practical solution. Given that Oman has one of the highest levels of sky clearness and one of the highest solar energy densities in the world we worked with the Renaissance team in a way to harness this energy and reduce daytime reliance on the grid.” The objective of Renaissance initially was to support the Oman Government’s objective of utilising Green Energy and to provide additional benefits to the residents with covered parking. The project was undertaken by Renaissance at Fahud as a pilot project in order to reduce its carbon footprint and continue towards the group’s green mandate of looking to getup to 25-30% of future energy requirements from solar energy. The solar PV system installed spares the environment from thousands of tonnes of harmful emissions such as nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide and carbon dioxide, which are major contributors to smog, acid rain, and global warming. Over the 30-year lifetime of the photovoltaic system, the solar generated electricity will reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by almost 45,000 tonnes. These emissions reductions are equivalent to planting 580 acres of trees, removing almost 175 cars or not driving 135 million kilometers on Oman’s roadways. Renaissance Services CEO Stephen Thomas said: “The pilot project at Fahud will generate 2.2 million Kwh annually out of the 7 million Kwh that we consume at the moment and although we are currently getting power at a subsidised rate of 15 bzs($ 0.04) per Kwh, we undertook the project to preserve Oman’s precious natural resources and work towards a more sustainable and green future for the company and the country.” By installing the grid-connect system, the Fahud PAC will utilise solar energy and will not use any energy from the grid during the day. “The solar technology being used at the Renaissance Fahud PAC is yet another example of our commitment to encouraging and investing in solar energy and renewable energy in general. We’ve utilised solar power to contribute to our overall efforts to achieve sustainability. Solar power is an effective and reliable energy solution which will reduce our electricity costs and contribute to the country’s overall environmental health,” said MD Renaissance Services SAOG Ananda Fernando. Renaissance and Votum Energy will be utilising the understanding and findings of this pioneering pilot project in Oman to work on other similar initiatives for the group. The project will also be utilised by external stakeholders who want to conduct research and learn from the project.