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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 June 2018

Solar power reaches Dubai’s chickens

The Al Rawdah facility is the UAE’s first poultry farm equipped with a solar power plant

Al Rawdah has added solar power to its poultry farm in Dubai. Charlie Neibergall / AP
Al Rawdah has added solar power to its poultry farm in Dubai. Charlie Neibergall / AP

A new solar power plant has been installed at Emirates Modern Poultry (Al Rawdah) farm in Dubai, providing power for more than 45,000 birds.

The poultry farm, located 40 kilometres from Dubai, spans 538 hectares and is the UAE’s first such facility to integrate solar power to help generate electricity.

“Minimising our environmental footprint has always been a top priority for the company,” said Abdalla Sultan Alowais, chairman of Al Rawdah.

"The initiative to turn to solar power is in line with the UAE’s vision of moving towards a sustainable future by adopting renewable and clean energy sources. To us, this is just the beginning to a transformative journey into the future.”

Al Rawdah poultry farm in Dubai has added a 1 megawatt solar power plant. Courtesy of Dewa
Al Rawdah poultry farm in Dubai has added a 1 megawatt solar power plant. Courtesy of Dewa

The project is in line with the Shams Dubai initiative implemented by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) in 2015. Part of the initiative is to have solar panels on every rooftop across the emirate by 2030. Since September, the emirate has added nearly 100 systems bringing its total up to 529 solar installations with a capacity at just under 20 megawatts.

“Through its strategies and investments in clean and renewable energy, the UAE is pioneering global efforts in this sector,” said Dewa’s managing director and chief executive, Saeed Al Tayer.

It isn’t the first time that solar has been deployed in the region’s agriculture sector.

Last year, American solar panels manufacturer, First Solar, and one of Saudi Arabia’s largest poultry producers, Al Watania Agriculture, began a pilot project in the kingdom using solar power to help irrigation at its farm.

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For Al Rawdah, the solar electricity generated will be used to power the food processing unit.

Mr Al Tayer added that the project helped “promote Dubai’s position as a pioneering city in developing the renewable and alternative energy sector”. He said that the innovative modern techniques to help increase energy efficiency and rationalise the use of natural resources was done by involving society.

“I praise their efforts and commitment to achieve sustainability, reduce carbon emissions, and protect the environment and our natural resources to ensure a brighter future for generations to come,” he said.