Dubai: More than 200 buildings in Dubai are now harnessing power from the sun, it was announced on Sunday.

A total of 222 residential and commercial buildings have installed rooftop solar panels and connected to the grid for the Shams Dubai Initiative as of October this year, based on figures from the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa).

Altogether, these buildings have a capacity of six megawatts (MW).

Dewa recently announced the launch of the largest projects of the Shams Dubai initiative, including the construction of the largest distributed solar rooftop project in the Middle East after DP World commissioned the installation of 88,000 rooftop solar panels on its Dubai facilities in Jebel Ali Free Zone and Mina Rashid. Phase one will be completed in 2017.

Dewa is also cooperating with 18 government organisations to install photovoltaic (PV) panels on 35 government buildings in the emirate.

“I would like to commend those who have installed PV panels to produce electricity locally. It is commendable that you are protecting the environment and reducing the carbon footprint by making use of solar energy,” Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of Dewa, said.

“I urge house and villa owners and all members of society to take advantage of Shams Dubai, to be our partners in producing renewable energy, and achieving Dubai Government’s objectives to diversify the energy mix. This supports a smart, sustainable and happy city,” he added.

Through the Shams Dubai initiative, building owners can install solar panels on their rooftops to generate electricity from solar power. The electricity is used o-nsite and the surplus is exported to Dewa’s grid. An offset between exported and imported electricity units is conducted and the customer account is settled based on this offset.

This will contribute to reducing carbon emissions in adherence with the Dubai Carbon Abatement Strategy 2021 to reduce carbon emissions by 16 per cent by 2021 to ensure a sustainable future for generations to come.

As of October this year, Dewa has enrolled 44 contracting and consultancy companies. A total of 247 engineers have been certified as enrolled electrical and solar photovoltaic consultants and contractors. Some 70 manufacturers of solar power equipment registered 578 products as eligible for Shams Dubai.