- UL, through Gulf Renewables Lab, delivers its first solar power technology training and certification course in Dammam, KSA
- Five-day session guides in the safe installation and maintenance of photovoltaic (PV) panels and systems.
- Extensive training course created to help provide the highly-skilled and qualified workforce essential for MENA countries to develop their renewable energy industries.
Dubai, UAE, 23 May, 2018: Gulf Renewables Lab (GRL), a UL-GCC joint venture, is leading the drive towards a greener future for the region with the launch of its first solar panel installation program in Saudi Arabia. The firm recently completed its first five-day training session at GRL in Dammam, KSA in cooperation with Saudi Arabia’s National Power Academy.
Candidates received hands-on training for the installation of photovoltaic (PV) panels and associated equipment and systems, followed by a full examination.
The 13 engineers and technicians who successfully completed the course, led by UL’s PV training expert, Mark Ode, are now ‘Certified Photovoltaic System Installers’ and received official certificates issued by UL.
GRL will now offer the program to relevant government entities and private firms across the region as countries, such as Saudi Arabia, continue to ramp up their efforts to ensure the greater provision and use of renewable energy sources, including solar power. Similar training programs are now planned to take place in Oman and Bahrain.
Hamid Syed, vice president and general manager of UL Middle East, said: “The successful completion of this first training session in Dammam is an important milestone for UL-GCC LAB but also for the region as a whole as the drive towards renewable energy continues at pace.
“UL is at the forefront of the push to promote the safe adoption and development of renewable energy sources across the region. Through programmes that provide the highest standards of training and certification we aim to help to ensure this growing sector will be staffed by a highly skilled workforce who can maintain and develop the industry.
“By making renewables a viable and attractive option for key stakeholders, including government bodies, investors and the public, the region can look forward to a greener and more sustainable future.”
Saleh Al Amri, chief executive officer of GCC Lab commented: “The delivery of GRL’s solar power technology training session, and similar upcoming sessions, plays to the heart of GCC Lab’s strategy to help create a Saudi knowledge-based economy.
“The advancement of the Saudi knowledge-based economy and training the workforce serving the Saudi solar market is an essential element in supporting the Kingdom’s various solar initiatives. Accordingly, GCC Labs and UL’s efforts in this area are a direct contribution to the Kingdom’s vison 2030 and the GCC countries’ visions.”
KSA recently launched its first utility-scale solar project to generate 300MW of electricity, with plans to increase that figure to 7.5GW this year with the signing of a deal between the Public Investment Fund of KSA and Softbank.
Coinciding with this ground-breaking move away from fossil fuels, Saudi’s Electricity and Cogeneration Authority (ECRA) has announced an incentive programme to encourage private households across the country to install small scale rooftop solar power systems.
The Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) has also stated that the nationwide Rooftop PV Solar Project will be rolled out by mid-2018. The plan for large scale industrial solar projects to operate in parallel with small domestic systems has been designed to encourage growth across the country’s burgeoning solar power sector.
Both these major developments highlight the urgent need to recruit and train a workforce of PV installers who are qualified and certified to safely install and maintain solar-power systems across the Kingdom.
Operating out of offices in Dubai and a state-of-the-art lab facility in Abu Dhabi, UL works closely with manufacturers to meet the strict testing, certification and inspection standards across a range of industries.