Total has started expanding its solar research zone at the Outdoor Test Facility of the Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (Qeeri), part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University. The construction works, which began in mid-June, are expected to last for two months.
This 34 kWp extension, constructed by Total’s Gas, Renewables & Power branch, specifically T-Lab, (Technology, Research and Development department based in Paris), will consist of some three trackers, bifacial modules, different inverters and power optimisers, as well as numerous sensors.
These new features will allow the monitoring of its performance in real time, and validate modelling results obtained from simulation tools.
Such outdoor testing aims to improve performance and reliability of Total’s photovoltaic (PV) components installed in desert climatic conditions.
It will also support the development of the ‘Al Kharsaah’ PV power plant, a bid awarded to Total alongside Marubeni earlier this year.
This solar energy site will be the first step towards the country’s long-term solar energy-sustainability objective, in line with Qatar National Vision 2030.
The QR1.7bn Al-Kharsaah Large Scale Solar PV Power Plant with an estimated total capacity of 800MW equals about 10% of the country's peak electricity demand.
The first of its kind in Qatar, the solar energy plant will be constructed at Al-Kharsaah area of West Doha covering a total of 10sq km.
As per the agreement signed in January this year, Qatar's Siraj Energy, a joint venture owned by QP and QEWC, will hold a 60% stake in the project while the rest will be held by France’s Total and Japan’s Marubeni.