SEC, Showa Shell Sekiyu bring solar power to Saudi Arabian island

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Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) and Showa Shell Sekiyu have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a 500kW PV plant on Farasan Island, Saudi Arabia. The pilot system, located at the Farasan Diesel Power Generation Plant of SEC, will be the first remotely installed plant in the country to be grid connected when it comes online in July. Annual electrical output is estimated at 864,000kWh.

“The completion of this pilot plant paves the way for intensive collaboration on solar initiatives between Showa Shell Sekiyu, Solar Frontier, and leaders in both Saudi Arabian and Japanese government and industry,” Solar Frontier's senior vice president of global marketing and power generation, Atsuhiko Hirano, said. “Our soon-to-be established office in Saudi Arabia will work closely with SEC as the plant comes on line and will serve as our hub for expanding development projects in Saudi Arabia going forward.”

Project installation on the site was carried out by Solar Frontier, a subsidiary of Showa Shell Sekiyu, using its CIS technology, which is ideally suited to the arid climes of Farasan Island. Solar Frontier will also provide year-round technical support through its newly established Saudi Arabia Office, although primary responsibility for operation and maintenance rests with SEC.

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