HBKU's QEERI continues professional data-driven support to Al Kharsaah solar plant

Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI), part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), announced it will provide professional support to the operations of Qatar's first large-scale solar PV plant Al Kharsaah, which was built, owned and operated by the Siraj-1 consortium. The solar power plant has over 1,800,000 solar panels; part of them are bifacial modules combined with solar tracking systems. The plant is expected to satisfy approximately 10% of the country's peak electricity demand and cut down 26 million metric tons of carbon emissions.

Qatar Al Kharsaah Solar Plant
Photo: Siraj-1 consortium

Recognized as the major point of reference in Qatar for high-quality solar resources and services as well as PV performance and reliability, QEERI's Energy Center has contributed its exceptional data and solar forecasting resources to the project since its beginning in 2019. In the early phase, QEERI installed a high-precision solar monitoring and weather station in Al Kharsaah to collect data relevant to the plant's development and operation, which were then used by the plant's EPC contractor. Throughout the project, QEERI has also accumulated a series of real test measurements of key parameters that affect the PV module and system performance and reliability, which are crucial to help optimize, improve, and adapt the plant operations to the particularities of Qatar's harsh desert climate and other challenges.

To be more specific, QEERI's support to the operations reflects on 1) solar, albedo and soiling analysis and forecasting services; 2) advice on PV cleaning scheduling and automated PV cleaning solutions, as well as monitoring, control and integration of the solar plant with the national grid.

The Al Kharsaah solar plant "is the keystone project paving the way and supporting the development of sustainable energy in Qatar, and is a major milestone for the entire region. Its innovative technology will be the flagship for future PV projects in the country and confirmation of the emerging PV market in the region," said Dr. Veronica Bermudez, Senior Research Director at QEERI's Energy Center.

Al Kharsaah's success advances the recognition that solar-powered processes are the best option for Qatar in terms of sustainability and climate change risk mitigation.

—said Dr. Marc Vermeersch, Executive Director of QEERI.

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