Abu Dhabi Environmental Agency (EAD) has joined hands with TotalEnergies Renewables Distributed Generation (DG) Middle East and Africa, an affiliate of TotalEnergies, to launch distributed solar energy solutions at EAD's newly-constructed Plant Genetic Resource Centre in Al Ain.
Under the leadership of Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary-General of EAD, and TotalEnergies in the UAE, this partnership will see TotalEnergies develop a 330 kWp solar carport for the Genetic Laboratory facility in Al Ain. This innovative solar solution comprises 680 photovoltaic panels, expected to generate approximately 500 MWh of clean energy annually and will cover an area of 1,360 square meters of car park shades. The environmental impact of this endeavor is substantial, as it is anticipated to reduce EAD's annual carbon footprint by 200 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to the energy consumption of around 25 homes in a year.
The collaboration is underpinned by a 20-year solar power equipment lease agreement, encompassing solar installation, operations, maintenance, and energy production at the Plant Genetic Resource Centre by TotalEnergies. This agreement will empower the Centre to harness solar power for its energy needs, aligning perfectly with the Abu Dhabi Climate Change Strategy and the UAE's ambitions of achieving clean and renewable energy production by 2035 and carbon neutrality by 2050.
Ahmed Al Hashmi, Executive Director of the Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity Sector at EAD, expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership and highlighted its pivotal role in reducing carbon emissions while supporting native plant species conservation efforts. The decision to opt for solar energy at the Plant Genetic Resource Centre underscores the commitment to sustainability.
Gipin Mani, UAE and Oman Country Director at TotalEnergies Renewables DG Middle East and Africa, emphasized the partnership's broader significance in integrating renewable energy solutions into critical infrastructure, fostering environmental stewardship, and sustainability.
EAD has ambitious plans to inaugurate its Plant Genetic Resource Centre by the end of 2023, with a primary focus on plant conservation and the preservation of genetic diversity. The centre's mission encompasses various conservation methods, including genomic and genetic studies, all geared towards safeguarding UAE flora for future generations.
This partnership between EAD and TotalEnergies is not a novel venture. TotalEnergies, through the TotalEnergies Foundation, has maintained a longstanding commitment to working with EAD in preserving sensitive ecosystems and reducing carbon intensity in the UAE. This collaboration dates back to 1999 when they launched the first conservation program dedicated to dugong conservation. Furthermore, TotalEnergies has also partnered with EAD on research initiatives aimed at managing coastal habitats for climate change resilience.
In a region striving for sustainable and environmentally responsible practices, this collaboration between EAD and TotalEnergies sets a commendable example, showing the way forward in the pursuit of cleaner and greener energy solutions.