Shell Development Oman has launched its ‘Solar into Schools’ initiative, which aims to train SMEs and contract them to install solar systems into 22 schools across all governorates of the Sultanate in the coming few years.
Shell Development Oman has launched its ‘Solar into Schools’ initiative, which aims to train small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and contract them to install solar systems into 22 schools across all governorates of the Sultanate in the coming few years.
The launch took place at a ceremony held at the Um Al Fadhil School for Basic Education in Birkat Al Mouz, Nizwa.
The ceremony was held under the patronage of Dr Madihabint Ahmed Al Shaibaniya, Minister of Education, and was attended by a number of officials and dignitaries from Al Dakhliya Governorate as well as the school’s staff and students, and Shell’s management and staff.
The completed pilot schools include the Um Al Fadhil School in Nizwa, Sultan Qaboos School in Al Buraimi and Khawlah Bint Al-Hakeem School in Salalah. These three public schools are the nation’s first completely solar-powered educational facilities.
Each school’s solar installation should reduce its grid-supplied electricity demand by at least 150 megawatt hours per year, which is approximately equivalent to the energy needed to power hundreds of residential homes in Oman each year. In addition, each solar school will reduce around 100 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.
To empower local businesses, Shell is contracting Omani SMEs to install the solar panels in the schools under this project. The project, therefore, not only helps contribute to Oman’s energy transition, but also helps build a platform for development and implementation of other small-scale solar projects in Oman.
Dr Al Shaibaniya, Minister said: “The launch of the Solar into Schools initiative is part of the real partnership between the public and private sectors. This initiative is in line with the ministry's continuous efforts to benefit from the technical solutions offered by private sector institutions to implement the Government’s visions in searching for alternatives for renewable energy to save our environment.
“We are delighted that Shell has supported Oman's efforts to transform solar energy in a sustainable way through this initiative, through which comes the installation of solar photovoltaic systems for 22 public school buildings in different governorates of the Sultanate for a period of five years. Four schools have been launched in the governorates of Muscat, Buraimi, Dhofar and the Dhakhiliya, which we are celebrating today the launch of the project in it. In the coming year, the project will be launched in Al-Batinah North and in Al-Batinah Shouth.”
“The ‘Gift to the Nation’ reflects the long-standing relationship Shell has with Oman. We hope that the full potential of the initiative is realized in the coming years and we look forward to further supporting sustainable and energy efficient initiatives in the Sultanate in the future”, said Chris Breeze, Shell’s country chairman in Oman.
“We are very impressed with the Omani SMEs undertaking these projects. Ajwa for Solar Energy Solutions Systems LLC, run by its CEO Juma Al-Batrani and Hussam Technology Company, run by its CEO Dr Firas Abduwani, executed the projects in Nizwa, Al Buraimi and Salalah to internationally recognized standards and should be in a good position to build on this experience in future projects both for Shell and other customers now that the Authority for Electricity Regulation has launched its Sahim scheme.
“In addition to the project promoting awareness among students at the schools about energy sustainability and renewables, we hope they will also be enthused by the innovation and entrepreneurship shown by Fajwa and HTC and that some may be encouraged to pursue their own entrepreneurial dreams,” he added.