The country's first solar power station in Duhail, the announcement on which was made at the start of this year is expected to be functional in the first quarter of 2016, said a senior official of the Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa).
Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the Solar Qatar Summit at Ritz Carlton Doha Hotel Head of Renewable Energy Technologies section at the Kahramaa Saleh Hamad al-Marri said the work of the station would be tendered at the beginning of next year and the project is expected to be functional within a year.
The project, the capacity of which could be anywhere between 10 mw and 15 mw would give a kick start to the country's plans to develop solar energy in coming years. It is understood that 4 to 5 hectares of land would be required to generate one megawatt of solar power.
The senior Kahramaa official said the country's power authorities had done elaborate studies and extensive research on the possibilities of tapping its renewable energy sources in the last few years and about 60 locations across the state have been identified for setting up stations in future. "Of those places, a number of them would be shortlisted before solar stations are developed at many of those locations" said al-Marri.
The official said though the initial overheads for setting up solar stations would be enormous compared to the other sources, notably natural gas, in the long run solar power would not only be economical for the country but it would also go a long way in keeping the environs clean and green in line with the goals and objectives of the Qatar National Vision 2030.
The country's aim is to generate at least 200 mw of solar energy, latest by 2020, said al-Marri while disclosing that Qatar has set an initial target of 2 to 3% of solar energy in its total annual power generation.
Speaking at the summit earlier Al-Marri said the country has approximately 242,550 customers and its annual power peak load demand was about 6000 mw as per the 2013 figures.
Also speaking Qatar Solar Energy CEO Salim Abbasi explained that the country was exploring possibilities of tapping its renewable energy sources for more than 8 years and works are currently underway to put Qatar among the global leaders in the area of solar power in line with the vision of HH The Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.
The country, he said, is committed to not only generate adequate power through cost-effective means but also to provide it to the residents at affordable costs.
The QSE is aiming to produce high quality panels through its association with some of the best known agencies working in the field for several years.