YFEL-Led Solar Energy Project with Masdar Collaboration Comes Online to Help Power Rashid Abdullah Omran Hospital

Thursday 26 November 2015

Abu Dhabi - MENA Herald: Masdar has completed a 543 KWp photovoltaic (PV) solar power project that is to deliver renewable energy to the Rashid Abdullah Omran Hospital as part of an initiative launched by Masdar Institute’s Young Future Energy Leaders (YFEL) program.

Masdar Special Projects worked in close partnership with a group of YFEL program alumni to successfully deliver the renewable energy project, which the YFEL team had initiated. The installation, commissioned by the UAE’s Ministry of Public Works, will be the largest renewable energy project in the UAE to contribute to powering a hospital. It will use polycrystalline solar modules manufactured in the emirate of Fujairah to deliver solar energy to the Ras Al Khaimah-based hospital.

H.E. Eng. Zahra Al Aboudi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry Public Works, stressed on the role of such partnerships in improving efficiency, increasing employment, enhancing development and implementation of the UAE’s infrastructure, as well as the exchange of experience, knowledge, data and resources among all partners. She added that this memorandum of cooperation helps support the sustainability ecosystem and green buildings, which Ministry of Public Works remains committed to. This is also key to achieving the objectives under the UAE 2021 Vision and the national agenda, she said and commended the Emirati youth who were behind this project.

H.E Eng. Al Aboudi pointed out that such partnerships come from Ministry of Public Works’ commitment to lay down the foundations for the strategic cooperation between the ministry and the various government agencies, including Masdar City and Masdar Institute, and to benefit from each other’s expertise in sustainability to achieve synergy. She remarked that the importance of such memorandums lies in developing and strengthening the cooperation among various partners, which contribute to better organization of current legal procedures, within an integrated framework.

Dr. Ahmad Belhoul, CEO of Masdar, said: “We are pleased to cooperate with the Ministry of Public Works by providing this hospital with a renewable energy source of electricity. This project is yet another example of Masdar stimulating and supporting innovation together with its partners as we continue to celebrate people and projects during UAE Innovation Week. This project demonstrates the viability of renewable energy as a source of electricity as well as a growth market opportunity for the UAE. By using solar panels manufactured in Fujairah to power the new Rashid Abdullah Omran Hospital, the UAE is taking strides to address energy security while simultaneously creating economic growth in new sectors.”

For the YFEL team, its completion is a testament to the collective efforts of its members. The idea for the project was initially developed by the YFEL 2011-2012 alumni group.

Dr. Behjat Al Yousuf, Interim Provost of Masdar Institute said: “The YFEL group’s initiative to help bring solar energy to a UAE hospital is a wonderful example of the kind of impact and inspiration this Masdar Institute outreach program hopes to have on its participants. They have taken what they learned through their YFEL experience and used it to bring the benefits of renewable energy to the Rashid Abdullah Omran Hospital, which will allow a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of approximately 700 tons annually.”

The YFEL alumni group were involved in identifying potential suitable sites, conducting viability studies, obtaining approvals, assisting in timely completion, tendering for a contractor, before testing and handing over the completed project.

Zainab Abdul Rahim Al Ali, Program Manager, YFEL, explained: “The RAK hospital project was a great team effort. For us, the close partnership and commitment to tackling the various challenges that came up along the way added to our collective breadth of experience. Even seasoned professionals find new ways to learn when working with new colleagues through YFEL.”

A Masdar Institute outreach program, YFEL offers young professionals and students from the UAE and abroad a year-long experience focused on finding solutions to two of the world’s biggest challenges – achieving greater energy efficiency and tackling climate change. It also brings young professionals closer to government representatives, business leaders and other organizations active in the area of alternative energy and sustainability

The solar panels that will power the Rashid Abdullah Omran Hospital are spread across the rooftop of the 82-bed maternity and children’s hospital, and the car park shading system.

The solar PV installation is the latest success for Masdar Special Projects, which has launched renewable energy installations in Mauritania, Afghanistan, as well as a range of projects across Pacific island nations as part of the UAE Pacific Partnership Fund. Masdar exemplifies the UAE leadership’s proactive approach to reliance on oil and the diversification of the economy. Clean technologies and projects are being developed and deployed both locally and globally, driving additional benefits beyond the UAE’s borders.

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