Dubai’s Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, one of the world's largest renewable projects based on an independent power producer (IPP) model, marked yet another milestone last month by taking delivery of the world's first off-grid micro-grid that enables around-the-clock clean power.
The unique solution, which features a pioneering energy storage system from Sweden-based Azelio, was installed by Alec Energy, a leading solar solutions provider in the Middle East, at the fourth phase of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Noor Energy 1) Visitor Centre.
Noor Energy 1 hosts the world’s largest CSP (Concentrated Solar Power) installation. The energy system – the first of its kind in the world – is an off-grid micro-grid with Azelio’s long-duration energy storage system. Leveraging Azelio’s ground-breaking energy storage solution, combined with 300 kW of a solar photovoltaic system, the system delivers power to the facility, reducing the need for conventional power generation during night-time and overcast conditions.
Commenting on the accomplishment, Basar Kayali, General Manager of Alec Energy, says: “As the world’s largest single-site CSP, Noor Energy 1 is a landmark project that sets global benchmarks in clean energy production.
“The solution we have implemented here has the potential to revolutionise how clean power can be supplied to factories, agricultural facilities, and hotels or resorts in remote locations in the UAE and beyond.”
The Noor Energy 1 Visitor Centre is nestled between millions of square meters of solar panels. Alec Energy began implementing the unique micro-grid in June 2021 and completed the entire project in just 15 months.
The off-grid micro-grid with energy storage is significantly more cost efficient than the traditional alternatives of connecting to the national grid or relying on conventional powered generator sets, according to Alec Energy.
“The hybrid system supplying power to the Noor Energy 1 Visitor Centre is a milestone installation demonstrating how our long-duration energy storage system can form a vital part of a micro-grid for around-the-clock clean power, while serving as a reference project for our solution in the Mena region. The TES.POD was installed in 2021, and I am now delighted to see the complete micro-grid system fully operational, and I am looking forward to more projects in the region,” adds Azelio’s CEO, Jonas Wallmander.
Azelio’s technology is described as being revolutionary in that renewable energy becomes despatchable, making clean energy available 24/7. The energy is stored in recycled aluminium and converted into electricity and heat with a total efficiency of up to 90 per cent. The solution is scalable, sustainable, and cost-efficient from 0.1 MW up to 20 MW.
“We are excited to incorporate the world's first off-grid micro-grid with Azelio’s long-duration energy storage system at the Noor Energy 1 Visitor Centre. Our facility showcases the latest technologies in concentrated solar power, and photovoltaic cells and, therefore, it is of immense importance that the cente itself is powered by a cutting-edge clean energy solution,” says Hashim Al Ghabashi, Executive Managing Director of Noor Energy.
Alec Energy, a related business division of Alec Engineering and Contracting, offers a complete turnkey solution for both rooftop and ground mounted solar PV plants.