Ground-Mounted Solar Projects Not Part of Shams Dubai Program Anymore

The maximum capacity for rooftop solar installations would be 2,080 kW


Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has announced that ground-mounted solar power projects are no longer included under the Shams Dubai program.

DEWA’s Shams Dubai solar program, which was introduced in 2015, is based on net metering, allowing customers to install solar panels and reduce their electricity bills every month.

DEWA announced that under the revised guidelines, the maximum capacity of solar systems to be installed on a rooftop is capped at 2,080 kW. However, lower limits can apply based on the customer’s total connected load in the plot.

In the previous guidelines, although no cap was mentioned, it was stated that if a producer wishes to connect one or more solar systems to the distribution system, it should not exceed the sum of the approved load for the plot.

According to the official statement issued by DEWA, no exceptions to these restrictions will be granted for solar PV projects initiated by customers under Sham’s Dubai. “No other regulatory framework is envisaged to accept any application not complying with the restrictions and other Shams Dubai applicable regulations,” it added.

It has also asked solar contractors and consultants to clearly explain the revised guidelines to their customers and refrain from signing any contracts which do not comply with the laid-out restrictions.

DEWA has urged for strict compliance with these instructions, adding that the violations will be subject to administrative action like removal from the list of DEWA enrolled electrical and solar PV consultants and contractors.

DEWA is working to transform Dubai into a global hub for clean energy and green economy to ensure it has one of the lowest carbon footprints in the world. Dubai aims to meet a capacity of 42,000 MWh of clean and renewable energy by 2050.

Earlier, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the ruler of Dubai, had called for solar panels to be installed on every roof in Dubai by 2030.

In October 2019, the International Company for Water and Power Projects (ACWA Power) quoted the lowest tariff at less than ~$ 0.017/kWh for 900 MW of solar projects. The tender was floated by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority to develop the fifth phase of the solar project at Mohammed Bin Rashid AL-Maktoum solar park in Dubai.

Back in 2018, Aramex, a UAE based logistics solution provider, inaugurated a 3.2 MW solar project for its new logistics facility in Dubai. This was then the largest single rooftop solar PV project in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. This was also one of the largest solar projects to be connected to DEWA’s grid under the Shams Dubai initiative.


Image credit: Photo by Janet Purchase. – U.S. Department of Energy from United States / Public domain