Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) has partnered with TotalEnergies Renewables Distributed Generation (DG) Middle East & Africa, an affiliate of TotalEnergies, to develop distributed solar energy solutions with solar photovoltaic (PV) panels for the Agency’s newly-built Plant Genetic Resource Centre in Al Ain.

The partnership agreement was signed by Her Excellency Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary General of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) with TotalEnergies in the UAE.

Under the agreement, TotalEnergies will develop a 330 kWp solar carport for the Genetic Laboratory facility in Al Ain. Featuring 680 photovoltaic panels the solar solution will generate around 500 MWh of clean energy annually and cover an area of 1,360 square metres of carpark shades. This will allow EAD to reduce its annual carbon footprint by 200 tonnes of CO2 – the equivalent to the power requirement of around 25 homes’ energy use in one year.

The 20-year solar power equipment lease agreement, which covers solar installation, operations and maintenance and the production of solar energy at the Plant Genetic Resource Centre by TotalEnergies, means the centre will use the solar power produced from the system for its power requirements.

Ahmed Al Hashmi, Executive Director of the Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity Sector at EAD, said: “We are very excited about this collaboration with a global pioneering company like TotalEnergies.  Through this lease agreement, we at the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, will be contributing to lower carbon emissions in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, which is in alignment with the Abu Dhabi Climate Change Strategy and the UAE leadership’s ambitious programme to produce power from clean and renewable sources by 2035, and marks a significant milestone in the UAE’s journey to deliver carbon neutrality by 2050. We selected solar energy for our Plant Genetic Resource Centre to enhance our sustainability efforts to strongly complement our native plants species conservation endeavours.”

Gipin Mani, UAE & Oman Country Director, TotalEnergies Renewables DG Middle East & Africa said: “We are honoured to collaborate with the EAD on this landmark project, which represents a fusion of technological excellence and environmental stewardship. By Integrating renewable energy solutions into critical infrastructure like the Plant Genetic Resource Centre, we are paving the way with our partners for a sustainable future, preserving biodiversity and reinforcing the UAE’s position as a global leader in environmental conservation. Our partnership on this project spanning 20 years entails not only the installation but also the seamless integration, operation and maintenance of the solar system. Drawing on our rich portfolio of similar distributed generation projects totalling over 100 MW in the region, we are well positioned to ensure highest quality, performance and reliability of solar infrastructure.  As a responsible market leader, we are proud to partner with EAD to foster a sustainable development and make significant strides towards a greener future.”

The agency is planning to launch its Plant Genetic Resource Centre by the end of 2023, promoting the UAE as a leader in plant conservation. It is the region’s largest and most complex centre of its kind and will use various methods of long-term conservation for seeds, plant parts, tissues, and full-grown plants, supplemented by genomic and genetic conservation studies. The aim is to conserve UAE flora and its genetic diversity for generations to come.

TotalEnergies has been present in the UAE for more than 80 years and as part of its ambition to produce more energy with less emissions, it is now developing solar projects for industrial and commercial customers in the region.

In the UAE, TotalEnergies – through the TotalEnergies Foundation – has partnered with EAD on a commitment to preserving sensitive ecosystems in addition to reducing the carbon intensity of the agency’s energy mix. The relationship with EAD dates back to 1999 with the launch of the first conservation programme dedicated to conserving the second largest population of dugongs in the world. 

Due to its reinforced commitment to climate action, TotalEnergies has also partnered with EAD on a nurture biodiversity study at Al Wathba Wetland Reserve as well as efforts to protect the flamingoes’ local habitat.

Recently, an agreement was made between TotalEnergies UAE and EAD on research initiatives to managing coastal habitats for resilience to climate change.  Through this agreement, TotalEnergies Foundation is collaborating with the agency on meeting challenges, identifying needs and planning activities across different teams on topics such as carbon sequestration, nature-based solutions, as well as soil and air amendment and quality for mangroves, sea grass and salt marsh growth and productivity.