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Oman malls invest in solar power to offset energy costs

MUSCAT: A growing number of shopping malls and commercial complexes are moving to harness the sun’s energy to power their establishments and reduce their dependence on subsidy-free electricity supply from the local grid.

The switch to green electricity will not only contribute to lower energy bills for these establishments, but crucially also bolster their reputation as eco-friendly corporates. In particular, multinational corporations among them also have a commitment to reducing their carbon footprint by transitioning to greener and sustainable energy sources.

Last week, Solar Wadi – an independent Omani renewable energy developer – announced the signing of an agreement with Muscat-based Tamani Global Development & Investments LLC for the development of a solar PV plant to power the latter’s Mall of Muscat property in Maabelah in Muscat Governorate.

In a statement, Solar Wadi said it would install solar PV panels on the rooftop as well as the car parks of the mall, with an aggregate capacity of 5 MWp. When operational, the solar system will generate close to 9,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of green electricity annually, which is enough to meet around 40 per cent of the electricity requirements of the mall and its tenants.

The project will help the Mall of Muscat and its tenants to “decarbonize their operations while reducing operational costs and realizing their ESG ambitions,” Solar Wadi stated. It added that the agreement is in line with the goals of Oman’s National Energy Strategy, which seeks to secure a 30 per cent share of the country’s electricity requirements from renewable sources by 2030.

Significantly, the agreement builds on a portfolio of private-wire solar PV projects that Solar Wadi has committed to delivering in collaboration with fellow Omani clean energy firm Nafath Renewable Energy. The projects, covering an aggregate capacity of around 30 MWp, will be undertaken on behalf of a number of clients in the Commercial & Industrial sector in Oman.

Just earlier, Majid Al Futtaim (MAF), the leading developer of shopping malls and lifestyle projects in the Middle East, signed an agreement with well-known renewable energy contractor Yellow Door Energy to provide solar power to its chain of shopping malls in the Sultanate of Oman. The deal is part of a 36MW Master Supply Agreement that commits Yellow Door Energy to providing solar-powered electricity to a total of 18 shopping malls distributed in Oman, as well as the UAE and Bahrain.

As part of the long-term agreement, Yellow Door Energy will develop new solar systems, as well as acquire existing ones, with the underlying goal of enabling MAF to achieve its Net Zero target by 2040. As the appointed solar power developer, Yellow Door Energy will be responsible for financing, designing, building, commissioning, operating, and maintaining the solar plants for the duration of the agreement.

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