Tesla Enters Dubai's Solar Market
October, 13th 2017
Tesla has entered the solar market for the first time in Dubai, opening up a new avenue for the car maker.
After launching its showroom in Dubai earlier this year, the company headed by Elon Musk has widely been known for its electric vehicles (EVs). However, Tesla does have a share in the lithium ion batteries market.
Lithium ion power packs are now running alongside a hybrid generator system in Dubai International Financial Centre. Enerwhere Sustainable Energy which is based in the emirate is using the battery in addition to biodiesel to supplement the solar power to ensure all-day electricity is covered without the use of diesel.
“Diesel generators power most of the construction sites in the UAE, which are the most expensive and dirtiest form of power generation," said Daniel Zywietz, the chief executive of Enerwhere. "Additionally, conventional engines sometimes breakdown with the humidity and high temperatures in the UAE." That results in complete shutdown as a backup generator can take about 20 seconds to kick in.
ICD Brookfield Place uses the lease-based solar hybrid system and sources 40 kilowatts per hour (kWh) of solar power during the day and then switches to the battery system at night. “If there is not enough power available from battery and solar, the site’s diesel generators will run on biodiesel as a back-up,” Mr Zywietz said.
The project is the first of its kind in the region, paving the way for a new market for lithium-ion batteries beyond the EV sector into solar, for use in both small and large sites.
“Tesla will evolve into an energy company because that’s just where the market is heading,” Siddiq Farid, an independent energy storage consultant said.
Florian Mayr, a partner at the clean-tech advisory firm Apricum, said energy storage is expected to rise globally, while the price of batteries such as Tesla’s will be more than halve by 2025.
“With the [price of solar photovoltaic power] in Dubai at less than 3 US cents, it’s possible to add energy storage to a solar park and still offer electricity at a competitive price,” Mr Mayr said yesterday at this week’s Intersolar Middle East conference that was held in Dubai.