Ivano Ianelli, Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence CEO, left, and Ali Mohammad Al Jassim, Etihad ESCO CEO, demonstrate the sanple solar rooftop kit being installed in Hatta. The solar kits will be made available to the public through the Safaqat initiative. Image Credit: Janice Ponce de Leon/Gulf News

Dubai: Don’t know which solar panels to choose for your villa? The Safaqat initiative is the answer, officials said.

Residents who are considering installing photovoltaic (PV) panels on their rooftops as part of the Shams Dubai initiative now have an option to get ready-to-use solar kits that can be installed and “moved” according to their need.

Safaqat (Arabic for ‘transaction’) is an initiative that aims to initiate the transition to residential solar in Dubai and the UAE to make Dubai a more sustainable city. It offers a turnkey solar kit that is fit for any regular-sized, four- to five-bedroom villa and it boasts of a guaranteed minimum 20-year solar energy production and 15 per cent energy savings.

The solar kits are currently being installed in 640 villas that are being retrofitted as part of the Hatta Comprehensive Development Plan. The Hatta Solar Project is a CSR project of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) that is expected to be completed by the end of 2017. The project is also in partnership with Etihad ESCO and Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence.

The solar rooftop kits in Hatta are now a streamlined solution through the Safaqat initiative to make it available to all residential owners in Dubai and the UAE to harness solar energy for their homes.

“It’s [Safaqat’s] opening the door for the remaining residential areas in Dubai. For many many years, solar has been done in the commercial and industrial areas. This is a breakthrough that it will be for residential areas so home owners could procure solar panels as well,” Ali Mohammad Al Jasem, CEO of Etihad ESCO, said.

Ivano Ianelli, Dubai Carbon CEO, said the large-scale production of these solar kits for Hatta immediately caused a drop in the price of solar installation by half. And using the crowdsourcing model, which makes use of the power of collective bargaining that brings down prices of products, the solar kits can be procured for between Dh16,000 and Dh20,000 for a 4.5kW kit.

“We’ve benchmarked the economics of the solar kit with a payback of four years. And we made sure that in the future, these kits can also be moved elsewhere with ease should there be a tenancy rather than an ownership in place. The system has been simplified to the maximum to create a fit for the local market and to mature it at once,” Ianelli said.

Ianelli said they have so far received 45 requests for the solar kits and are waiting for more. For more information, visit safaqat.ae.

Safaqat’s solar rooftop kit

4.5kW: Has 14 to 15 solar panels that’s enough for one villa

15 per cent: Approximate savings per villa based on total consumption

Dh30,000: Savings per household across a period of 10 years when paid upfront

Over 2,000 hours: Expected production of energy every year

Generation of 900 kWh per year at an economic value of Dh445 per mWh