Dubai: Beginning next year, DP World will be producing its own electricity to power almost half of its energy needs through its own rooftop solar system.

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) and DP World on Wednesday announced their partnership for the Shams Dubai Initiative that aims to put rooftop solar panels on every household, during the 18th Water, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition (Wetex).

The announcement was made in the presence of Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy; Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of Dewa; and Sultan Ahmad Bin Sulayem, chairman and CEO of DP World.

Construction of the first phase of the largest distributed solar rooftop project in the Middle East is under way after DP World commissioned the installation of 88,000 rooftop solar panels on its Dubai facilities in Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) and Mina Rashid.

Once completed in 2017, the solar panels will provide 40 per cent of the total energy consumption of Jafza, one of the world’s largest free trade zones. This produced clean energy is enough to power 3,000 homes a year. It will also save 22,000 tonnes of carbon emissions, equivalent to taking 4,500 cars off the road.

Al Tayer said Dewa is determined to continue building and developing a greener economy to achieve the UAE Vision 2021 and Dubai Plan 2021 to establish Dubai as a smart and sustainable city, whose environmental elements are clean, healthy, and sustainable.

Bin Sulayem, for his part, said: “We aim to ensure that everything we do has a long-lasting positive impact on economies and society. By raising awareness of renewable energy, we are helping work towards a carbon-neutral future for the UAE.”

The DP World Solar Programme will contribute to energy diversification in the region as part of Dubai’s Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, which seeks to reduce energy demand by 30 per cent by 2030.

Phases two and three will follow phase one (which is planned to produce a total of 22 megawatts at peak), with further solar installations due in Jafza and Mina Rashid.