His Excellency Salim bin Nasser bin Said Al Aufi, Undersecretary, Ministry of Oil & Gas, inaugurated the Pilot Solar Project at the Renaissance Permanent Accommodation for Contractors (PAC) in Fahud.
The innovative project consists of 4,000 polycrystalline solar panels designed as 10,000 sq.m of shaded car parking. The novel concept saves additional design and structural costs, while generating up to 2.2 million kWh of renewable energy annually, meeting almost all of the facility’s daytime electricity needs.
The project’s environmental benefit includes reduction of 1,500 MT carbon emissions annually, which is equivalent to planting 580 acres of trees or not driving 4.5 million kilometres.
“At Renaissance we ensure we carry out our business in a responsible and sustainable manner. And this solar project is the latest and most important statement of our stewardship of the environment. How we conduct our business is important to all of us. It matters to our customers, our investors, the communities in which we serve, and it matters to all of us who work in the company,” said Ananda Fernando, MD, Renaissance Services. “This initiative meets our long-term strategy to enhance energy efficiency at our PAC and reduce our overall carbon footprint,” he added.
Speaking at the inauguration, HE Salim Al Aufi commented, “We definitely give top priority to develop alternative energy. Presently, Oman is using quite a lot of gas to generate power and our consumption is going up by 10 per cent on an annual basis. So we need to concentrate on renewable energy, not necessarily as cost effective way of generating power but as a strategic way to develop the technical knowhow and further develop it to make it more cost effective in the future. Renaissance Pilot Solar Project at Fahud is by far the biggest solar power project in Oman. I hope Renaissance will continue to develop the project for everyone else to follow.”
The event was also attended by PDO MD, Raoul Restucci, who said, “Renaissance is setting standards in the development of alternative energy. PDO has a number of projects on the anvil. Value of projects that generate alternative energy is huge for Oman. Installing this project is economically very important for the country.”
Renaissance operates PACs across Oman, with total annual electricity requirement of around 40 million kWh. “Based on the results of this Pilot Project, we plan to extend the solar solution to our other PACs around the country,” the Renaissance MD confirmed.
The potential for solar power is high in the Sultanate, with its high ratio of ‘sky clearness’ and one of the highest solar energy densities in the world. Moreover, His Majesty’s ‘Vision 2020’ strategy envisions up to 10 per cent of Oman’s total electricity requirement to be met by renewable energy sources.
The visiting dignitaries toured the PAC facility – itself a pioneering model that turns the challenge of accommodating large workforces into an opportunity by leveraging economies of scale to deliver high standards of comfort, safety and service, and thereby, contributing to higher workforce productivity.