Canadian Solar announced last week that it partnered with Al Fahad Group, a major energy supplier in the United Arab Emirates, to supply Abu Dhabi with 1.5 megawatts of new solar power.
The partnership is the first business arrangement Canadian Solar has entered into with Al Fahad, said Canadian Solar spokesman Daniel Heck. But it marks some success in fresh marketing efforts aimed at the Middle East.
“Canadian Solar is marketing in the Middle East,” Heck said. “The Middle East is a high potential market for our panels.”
The oil-rich UAE has led the charge toward renewable energy with some major and high-profile solar projects like those in Masdar City, a completely sustainable new development designed to be carbon neutral. As the country embraces renewable energy in the midst of its tremendous wealth from oil development, other countries in the Middle East have taken notice, and the area is near the top of the list of areas around the world where solar could take off.
Canadian Solar has been working on developing relationships, partnerships and marketing efforts in the Middle East for the last several years, Heck said.
Canadian Solar will use its CS5A-M solar modules in the ground-mounted Abu Dhabi project, according to a release from the company.
While many Middle Eastern solar projects act as research grounds to test different technologies against one another, the solar Abu Dhabi array will only contain Canadian Solar modules, Heck said.
He said the North American company was selected because its panels, the ones that will be used in Abu Dhabi in particular, are well-suited to the environment and climate in the UAE.
“Canadian Solar is well known for its high-quality, high-performing and very reliable modules under any conditions,” Heck said. “Our modules have passed all international testing conditions and have the required certificates.”
Abu Dhabi is known for its extreme heat, humidity and sandy environment.
“Humidity and sand storms were the main subjects of these tests,” Heck said.
Pictured: Shams 1, another Abu Dhabi solar project, being developed by Abengoa Solar.