Two more schools in Oman to be powered by solar energy
January 7, 2018 | 12:59 PM
by Times News Service
Photo supplied

Muscat: Shell Development Oman (SDO) will install solar panels in two more schools in Oman as they continue the 'Solar in Schools campaign' in the Sultanate.

Read here: Oman's first solar schools launched in Nizwa, Al Buraimi and Salalah

SDO recently awarded a further two contracts to Hussam Technology Company LLC (HTC), an Omani small and medium enterprise (SME), for the design and construction of solar photovoltaic (PV) generation systems to be installed into two public schools located in the Al Batinah North Governorate.

Contracts for the latest solar school sites were signed by Dr Firas Al Abdwani for HTC and by Chris Breeze, Shell’s Country Chairman for SDO. The recipient schools in which the new solar PV generators will shortly be installed are Kaab Bin Barsha School in Saham and Al Asma’a bint Al Harith School in Sohar.

The solar PV generation systems for both schools will be fitted with leading edge PV technology, which will see the first use of bifacial solar PV panels in Oman. Bifacial PV solar modules differ from conventional PV modules in that bifacial modules are designed to allow light to enter from both sides, enabling even more solar energy to be captured and turned into electricity.

Currently Shell has successfully completed three solar schools in Nizwa, Al-Buraimi and Salalah and even more solar schools are planned for 2018. With the addition of the two latest sites, the Solar into Schools programme will see five sites operational by mid-2018. In addition to the three schools that have been already completed as well as the two that are in progress, a further three solar school sites are also currently in the planning pipeline and it is anticipated that these additional sites will be the subject of a further announcement.

The Solar into Schools programme is one of Shell’s 5th Gift to the Nation initiatives in which Shell has collaborated with the Ministry of Education and local SMEs to install solar PV generation systems into 22 public schools across the Sultanate over a 5-year period. The project has now reached a new phase of its development after the successful completion of its pilot phase with three schools in Al Buraimi, Salalah and Nizwa.

Through the ‘Solar into Schools’ programme, Shell aims to aid the development of Omani SMEs through creating new opportunities and building platforms to develop small scale projects which will benefit the economy in the long run. The Solar into Schools project will also capture the interest the Omani youth towards science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programmes.

“We have recently trained around 20 more young Omani entrepreneurs on solar technology and the related health, safety and regulatory considerations”, said Chris Breeze, Shell’s Country Chairman for Oman.

Mr. Breeze added that, “2017 also saw our very first Omani female solar PV engineers emerge, demonstrating that new energy technologies can also provide viable career pathways for Omani men and women alike, as has the oil and gas industry.”

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