Frequently Asked Questions

Shams Dubai - General

1. What are photovoltaic (solar) systems or "PV"?

A photovoltaic (PV) system uses PV cells to convert sunlight into electricity. PV cells are made of semiconductors and are used to assemble PV modules: the components used in PV systems. A great advantage of PV systems is that they are fully scalable and vary in size according to the local energy needs, so they can be used for residential, commercial and industrial electricity supply. There are two main types of PV systems: grid-connected and stand-alone.

A grid-connected PV system is connected to the existing electricity grid. The electricity produced by the system can be used to feed local loads and the surplus is delivered to the electricity grid. This type of system is our main focus, as DEWA Distributed Solar Program deals with PV systems connected to DEWA electricity grid.

Off-Grid PV systems are not connected to the grid and are designed to use the electricity produced by the PV exclusively in your own residence or facility.

In all cases the energy produced by the PV modules is converted from DC to AC by an Inverter, either for your own use or for export to the DEWA network.

2. What are the benefits of installing solar panels for home and business owners?

  • Using solar energy produces no air or water pollution and no greenhouse gases emissions. Solar power offers benefits to both homeowners and businesses:
  • Reduces electricity bills - installing a solar PV system requires you to undertake an initial investment, but – due to the electricity generated locally – allows you to reduce your electricity bills over lifetime of the system (25 years and beyond for a well maintained installation);
  • Increases the value of your property – should you decide one day to sell or rent out your property, it will likely attract a higher price or rent in the market if a PV system is installed. In fact, the new owner or tenant will enjoy lower electricity bills due to the electricity generated locally;
  • Reduces your carbon footprint - Your carbon dioxide footprint is a measure of how much carbon dioxide you're releasing into the environment based on your energy-consuming habits. By using solar energy, you will be able to reduce or even erase your carbon footprint;
  • Supports Dubai’s economy and ensure its sustainable future. Solar power is locally produced. Every kWh of solar energy that we produce in Dubai reduces our demand for electricity.


3. How does our society collectively benefit from this?

Solar energy is a form of renewable energy which is clean, secure, and limitless. It produces no emissions and does not affect the environment.

Using renewable energy reduces our reliance on diminishing traditional sources of energy, such as gas, oil and coal, ensuring sustainability for future generations.

Renewable energy is a key factor in Dubai’s efforts to foster economic, and social growth while preserving the environment.

In 2011, the Dubai Supreme Energy Council formulated the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, which requires renewable electricity sources to contribute to 15% of Dubai power needs. The launch of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is the first milestone in the path to achieving this vision. The production and use of solar energy by Dubai citizens, businesses and industries will also contribute to this vision becoming a reality.

4. What is the investment cost and break down (equipment, installation, connection and maintenance fee)?


Unfortunately, there is no single or simple answer. Cost depends on a number of factors, such as whether the system is stand-alone or is integrated into the building design, the size of the system, and the system manufacturer, retailer, and installer.

It can be roughly said that the PV modules make up between 30-50% of the total installation costs. Annual maintenance fees are in the range of 0.5-1% of the installation costs. Connection fees are typically a small share of the total cost. 

5. Are any incentives being provided?

Dubai is applying a Net Metering scheme. In this case you can produce your own electricity and consume it directly. If more electricity is produced than consumed, it can be injected into the DEWA distribution network. This surplus energy will be credited and used to off-set future consumption of electricity. The incentive is therefore the savings on the electricity bill, as you will be purchasing less electricity from DEWA in order to meet your needs. The details on how the Net Metering scheme works can be consulted in the DRRG Connection Conditions document available on Shams Dubai website under ‘Publications and Resources’. 


6. Are there any tax incentives available for commercial or industrial enterprises for installing solar panels?

No tax or other incentives are currently being offered.

7. What is the estimated return on investment and saving for a residential, commercial, or industrial properties?

The investment return and savings depend on how much electricity you currently use, and the tariff you are paying (see 'Slab Tariff', and how much electricity the photovoltaic system will produce. In general it can be said that the business case for clients with larger consumption and the possibility to install bigger systems is currently more attractive than for clients with low consumption and smaller systems.
You can ask your photovoltaic system provider see (List of Enrolled Electrical & Solar PV Consultants & Contractors) how much your new system will produce on an annual basis and compare that number to your annual electricity demand to get an idea of how much you will save. 

8. Who is involved in the different steps needed to connect a Solar PV system?

DEWA 
Customer 
Consultant /Contractor 
Equipment Manufacturer


Once you decide to install a Solar PV System, you will be advised to contact an enrolled Electrical & DRRG Solar PV Consultant or Contractor that will provide you with recommendations on the best possible solution for your property. You or your Consultant or Contractor may gather proposals from different equipment Manufacturer in order to source the required equipment. The Consultant or Contractor, acting as your agent, will gather all necessary information and documentation and initiate the online Application Process with DEWA.

If the Consultant does not have an in-house ability to construct and Install the Solar PV equipment, a Contractor will be hired for the construction and the installation of the equipment.

DEWA has an enrolment scheme for Consultants and Contractors based on a Solar PV Expert Certification in order to ensure a high standard of safety and efficiency. For more details and instructions please go to (List of Enrolled Electrical & Solar PV Consultants & Contractors)

Please note that DEWA only provides the list of the enrolled Electrical & DRRG Solar PV Consultants and Contractors that have attended DEWA’s Solar PV Training Course and possess the necessary qualification and skill. However, DEWA will not be responsible for any professional or boundary advice or other professional technical guidance given by the Consultant/ Contractor or for any injuries, damage, loss, substandard designs, construction, building, installation, delays and for any negative consequences arising from the services delivered by the listed Consultants and Contractors.

In order for Manufacturers and Equipment Suppliers to have their equipment included in the DEWA list of eligible equipment, they must submit a formal request to DEWA. A thorough evaluation of all standards and certification documents will ensure equipment is compliant with DEWA regulations and will then be included in the DEWA list of eligible equipment. This process ensures that the equipment meets the required DEWA quality and safety standards. For more details and instructions please go to (PV Equipment Eligibility):

Please note that the information presented on the DEWA website provides an overview of the manufacturers and equipment that meet DEWA technical standards. However, this does not constitute an endorsement or warranty of any kind, whether express, implied or statutory, including but not limited to warranties of title, merchantability, satisfactory quality, fitness for particular purpose, warranty for performance, professional advice, professional financial guidance, and shall not be relied upon as the only source of information for purchasing, contracting, investment decisions or for executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual manufacturer / supplier listed to verify the quality, performance, availability, cost and reliability of their equipment.

The connection procedure consists of 4 different stages:

  • The No Objection Certificate (NOC) stage
  • The Design Approval stage
  • The Inspection and Connection stage
  • The Generation stage

Once you decide to invest in a Solar PV generator, it is recommended you hire a DEWA enrolled Electrical & DRRG Solar PV Consultant or Contractor (List of Enrolled Electrical & Solar PV Consultants & Contractors) that will act as your agent and will advise you on the best possible solution for your system.

During the first stage, the Consultant/Contractor will gather all necessary general information and will then submit the online PV connection application form (Connection Process).

DEWA will carry out the application assessment and ensure all necessary documents have been submitted and all the criteria have been met. Upon successful completion of the assessment, DEWA will issue the No Objection Certificate (NOC).

In the second stage, your Consultant/Contractor should submit the online Application for Design Approval. With this application a number of technical documents need to be submitted to DEWA, such as the site plans, system design plans and details of the proposed equipment, compliance with DEWA regulations.

Upon successful completion of the application assessment by DEWA, you will be informed of the connection fee. Once you have paid the connection fee, DEWA will begin the necessary network intervention in order to facilitate the connection process and you can begin the required construction and installation.

The third stage of the process begins once your PV equipment has been laid out. However, before you initiate any electrical work, your consultant/Contractor must perform Mechanical Completion with the concerned building Authority (i.e Dubai Municipality, Trakhees) to insure the layout is compliant with all the applicable safety regulations. Once this is completed, you may proceed with the necessary electrical work and installations.

After all the electrical work has been finalised, you will now need to perform the online Notification for Electrical inspection and Testing in order to complete the inspection of your plant and to proceed with the Connection. With this notification, you will also be required to submit a number of certificates, a signed Connection Agreement between you and DEWA and a number of other documents. For details, kindly refer to (Connection Process).

Once DEWA finalises the assessment, meters will be installed.

The final stage begins once DEWA has installed the meters and begin to consider the energy generated by your plant.

You will also be required to submit the signed Connection Agreement with DEWA, which sets out the net metering arrangement and the responsibilities of both parties.

In addition, you will be required to present a signed Operation and Maintenance Contract as well as the Operation and Maintenance Manual provided by your Consultant and / or Contractor. For more details please refer to (DEWA DRRG Connection Guidelines) 


9. What is the connection procedure?


The connection procedure consists of 4 different stages: 

 1. The No Objection Certificate (NOC) stage

 2. The Design Approval stage

 3. The Inspection and Connection stage

 4. The Generation stage

 Once you decide to invest in a Solar PV generator, it is recommended you hire a DEWA enrolled Electrical & DRRG Solar PV Consultant or Contractor (List of Enrolled Electrical & Solar PV Consultants & Contractors) that will act as your agent and will advise you on the best possible solution for your system. 

During the first stage, the Consultant/Contractor will gather all necessary general information and will then submit the online PV connection application form (Apply for Solar PV Connection). 

DEWA will carry out the application assessment and ensure all necessary documents have been submitted and all the criteria have been met. Upon successful completion of the assessment, DEWA will issue the No Objection Certificate (NOC). 

In the second stage, your Consultant/Contractor should submit the online Application for Design Approval (Apply for Solar PV Connection). With this application a number of technical documents need to be submitted to DEWA, such as the site plans, system design plans and details of the proposed equipment, compliance with DEWA regulations. 

Upon successful completion of the application assessment by DEWA, you will be informed of the connection fee. Once you have paid the connection fee, DEWA will begin the necessary network intervention in order to facilitate the connection process and you can begin the required construction and installation. 

The third stage of the process begins once your PV equipment has been laid out. However, before you initiate any electrical work, your consultant/Contractor must perform Mechanical Completion with the concerned building Authority (i.e Dubai Municipality, Trakhees) to insure the layout is compliant with all the applicable safety regulations. Once this is completed, you may proceed with the necessary electrical work and installations. 

After all the electrical work has been finalised, you will now need to perform the online Notification for Electrical inspection and Testing (Apply for Solar PV Connection). In order to complete the inspection of your plant and to proceed with the Connection. With this notification, you will also be required to submit a number of certificates, a signed Connection Agreement between you and DEWA and a number of other documents. For details, kindly refer to (DEWA DRRG Connection Guidelines
 
 Once DEWA finalises the assessment, meters will be installed. 
 
 The final stage begins once DEWA has installed the meters and begin to consider the energy generated by your plant. 

You will also be required to submit the signed Connection Agreement with DEWA, which sets out the net metering arrangement and the responsibilities of both parties. 

In addition, you will be required to present a signed Operation and Maintenance Contract as well as the Operation and Maintenance Manual provided by your Consultant and / or Contractor. For more details please refer to (DEWA DRRG Connection Guidelines) 

Snapshot of the Connection Process:


SNAPSHOT OF THE CONNECTION PROCESS:

10. What equipment is needed?

A PV system is made up of different components. These include: 

Solar Panels

Solar panels are the electricity-generating units of a Solar PV system. Most solar panels have a life cycle of up to 25 years, but in some cases this can be longer. They are usually guaranteed by the manufacturer for a certain portion of the lifespan and they undergo a loss of performance over time. Therefore, some minimum efficiency is typically guaranteed. 

Inverter

The Inverter converts the DC electricity produced by the solar panels into an alternating current (AC) that can be used directly in the house or injected into the DEWA network. The Inverter should be located in an airy, safe and accessible area and protected from direct solar radiation and water. Inverters typically have an efficiency above 95% and a general warrantee for 10 years.

Metering System

To measure the electricity generated by the renewable generation unit and electricity consumed in the premises, two energy meters must be installed:

  • The first meter supplied and installed by DEWA measures the power generated by the photovoltaic system.
  • The second meter supplied and installed by DEWA measures the power exported to DEWA grid and the power imported from DEWA grid. During the connection process, the renewable generation unit will be inspected by DEWA before the metering system can be installed. The inspection ensures that the generation unit complies with DEWA technical and safety regulations.

Interface protection

An automatic decoupling device (also called Interface Protection) should be installed between the inverter and the network connection point, if not yet incorporated in the inverter. This decoupling device stops the PV plant when a problem is detected on the network or when maintenance is needed. This prevents the current from being injected into the network or the electric loads within the premises when the electric power supply has been switched off for safety reasons.

11. Does DEWA have any guidelines relating to the technical specifications of the solar panels and other equipment?

Such specifications are included in the following documents:

  • Standards for (Distributed Renewable Resources Generators connected to the Distribution Network)
  • Connection guidelines for Renewable Resources Generators connected to medium- and low-voltage distribution networks.
  • The manufacturer should provide a certificate proving that their equipment is compliant with these requirements. This certification document will be requested by DEWA during the connection process. A list of eligible equipment can be found on DEWA Website. The list is non exhaustive: you can opt for a manufacturer currently not included in the list as long as the following two conditions are met:
  • The equipment must be compliant with DEWA standards
  • Proof of such compliance must be sent to DEWA based on the same requirements formulated in the manufacturer equipment eligibility process instructions (PV Equipment Eligibility).

12. Are there any basic criteria that determine whether a certain residential or business unit is suitable for the installation?

Solar panels have truly come a long way. As its popularity increases and installation costs are gradually reduced, a lot of homeowners and businesses nowadays are eager to benefit from this sustainable technology.

The roof orientation, shading and surface area will determine whether you can benefit from this technology as well as the type and size of equipment you require.

We advise you to contact a DEWA enrolled Electrical & DRRG Solar PV Consultant or Contractor that can evaluate your criteria and advise you on the best possible solution for your premises.

There are three factors to be considered when planning to install solar cells onto the building’s envelope:

  • Panels orientation to the sun
  • Panels inclination
  • Potential shadow

The favourable orientation for fixed solar cells in the United Arab Emirates throughout the year is south, and the optimal inclination is about 24 degrees. This typically allows an annual irradiation of about 2100 kWh/m2 for Dubai, when both direct and diffuse radiation are considered.

It is important that panels are kept clean and any deposit of dirt and dust is avoided, since these reduce sensibly the efficiency of the panels. Dubai is in a region prone to dust storms and its accumulation, therefore it is recommended that you clean the PV frequently.

Furthermore, it is advisable to avoid any shadow on the panels because this can cause a significant drop in performance, may damage the module.

A solar system is generally made up of modular components. This means that one can easily replace a malfunctioning component, and possibly extend the system in the future. 

13. Where are the panels usually installed?

In urban environments such as Dubai, the solar panels are typically integrated in buildings rather than mounted on the ground. Panels are usually installed on the roof rather than on the building façade, to reduce the visual impact and ensure ease of access for cleaning and maintenance. However, PV systems can be blended into almost any imaginable structure. You might find PV being used outdoors for security lighting as well as in parking lot rooftops and bus station shelters.

14. Who will be responsible for maintaining the solar panels and related equipment once it is installed?

The maintenance of the system is the responsibility of the customer, who is required to have an operation and maintenance contract with a service provider. As part of the connection process, the customer must present a signed Operation and Maintenance Contract. It is required that the Operation and Maintenance Contract Service providers are enrolled as Electrical & DRRG Solar PV Consultant and Contractors

15. What is the cost of solar panel technology?

The cost of the system depends on the size as well as the type of system used. Please refer to the answer to question 4 “What is the investment cost breakdown (equipment, installation, connection and maintenance fee”. 

16. Are there any additional costs other than equipment, installation and maintenance fees?

DEWA will charge a one-off connection fee as part of the connection process. No further specific charges will be added to future customer’s bills on an ongoing bases. For most installations, the one-off connection fee will simply equal the fixed amount charged by DEWA for each renewable generator connected to the grid. This amount is currently set at AED 1,500 for each renewable generator, and covers mainly the cost incurred by DEWA for the procurement and installation of the Solar PV generation check meter. For large installations (with size above 400 kW) some dedicated equipment might be needed for the proper integration of the renewable generator into DEWA distribution network. In this case, DEWA will charge the cost of such equipment as part of the connection fees. The need for such equipment, will be made known to the applicant in the early stages of the application process, so that the customer will be in a position to take an informed decision on whether to proceed with the project or not. An estimate of the connection fees will then be communicated to the customer in design approval stage. 

17. Who bears the cost of the new meter?

The bi-directional smart meter measuring the electricity exported to and imported from DEWA electricity grid will be installed by DEWA without any additional cost to customers over the normal service charges.

The second meter, installed to measure the electricity generated by the PV system, will be charged by DEWA as part of the one-off connection fees.

Shams Dubai - Customers

1. Is there a limit as to how much solar electricity a DEWA customer can produce?

As per the Connection Conditions (Publications & Resources) and as already pointed out in the answer to question 10, the capacity installed should not exceed the maximum load allowed at your premises. Moreover, DEWA could impose a lower threshold should it be justified by technical limitations related to the integration of your PV system into the power distribution grid.

In order to fully gain the financial benefits of the net-metering scheme, you should install a system that, during its lifetime, produces at the most the electricity that you will be using over the same period.

2. What happens to the energy produced? Is it automatically available for my personal use or is it fed back into the grid?

The electricity produced by the solar panel system is available for your own use and any excess is fed back into the grid. The quantity exported to the DEWA grid is monitored by the meter so that you can be credited on your future electricity bills. 

3. Once produced, where is the energy stored?

While off-grid PV systems depend on rechargeable batteries to store excess electricity, grid-connected systems do not require any storage, as excess electricity can be fed to the distribution grid.

Net-metering programmes provide producers with credit for any electricity they deliver to the grid. 

4. How will energy exported to DEWA be represented on my bill?

The electricity produced by the PV system reduces the amount of energy that a customer has drawn from the grid. If, at any point in time, more energy is produced than consumed, the excess is exported to the grid.

The monthly energy bill will only reflect the net amount of energy consumed as demonstrated in the diagram below:

How will energy exported to DEWA be represented on my bill?

If during a billing period more energy is exported than imported, the invoiced value of electricity will be zero and the surplus electricity will be shown as a credit which can be brought forward in the following billing period as shown in the diagram below:

How will energy exported to DEWA be represented on my bill?

Net Producer – Production higher than consumption

The following billing period, the credit will be offset against net consumption. 

How will energy exported to DEWA be represented on my bill?

If during the course of several consecutive months more energy is produced than imported from the grid, the credit accumulates and is carried over to the following months.

5. How will I be compensated for energy produced?

Any surplus of electricity will be offset from your bills in the following months. An indefinite rollover is applied, so any surplus will be carried forward to the next bill.

6. How is the offsetting of export electricity and electricity credits applied to the slab tariff structure?

As shown in the previous graphs electricity exports within the billing period and electricity credits carried forward from previous billing periods are deducted from the electricity imported from the grid, and only then are DEWA tariff slabs (and any applicable fuel surcharges) applied to calculate the bill. This means more savings for customers, as residual consumption is billed at lower slab rates.

For more details regarding DEWA tariffs and slabs, please visit DEWA website: http://www.dewa.gov.ae/tariff/tariffdetails.aspx

7. What if I have multiple accounts with DEWA? Can the electricity generated and exported under one account be offset against consumption of other accounts?

This is possible as long as the other accounts are also located within the same plot. In this case you just need to indicate as part of your application which other accounts you want DEWA to link to the PV generator for offsetting purposes.

8. If I have multiple accounts within a plot of land, in which order will my different accounts be offset?

The account hosting the generator is always the first one, and the order of the subsequent ones will be determined by you during the connection application process. You can optimise your total invoiced amount by choosing an order where the accounts with the highest consumption are offset first.

Please see the diagram below:

If I have multiple accounts within a plot of land, in which order will my different accounts be offset?

9. I own a residential building (or a commercial retail space) and would like to install a solar system for use by different tenants. Can you provide an applicable model that I can use?

Under current legislation it is not planned to offset electricity produced by a PV plant against electricity consumed by different customers. You can only offset electricity consumption of the common areas of the building (lighting, air-conditioning, elevators etc.) measured by the meters you own. Another option is for individual tenants to install solar systems for their own use (tied to their own accounts)

10. What if I decided to sell or rent the property that hosts a solar PV generator, What are my options in this case?

Should you decide to sell or rent the property that hosts your Solar PV generator, you can agree with the new owner or tenant to transfer your generator to their account. However, your accumulated credit cannot be transferred to the new owner’s or tenant’s account.

11. Can I install solar panels in my home/ business premises/ production facility?

PV systems can be installed in your home and in your commercial or industrial premises provided there are suitable conditions for that. PV systems can be blended into a wide range of residential, commercial and industrial building structures.

PV can be used to power your premise's electrical systems, including lights, electrical cooling systems, and appliances.

WARNING:

  • All electrical installations, operation and maintenance should be done only by qualified solar PV electricians (DEWA enrolled Electrical & DRRG Solar PV consultants and contractors).
  • Under no circumstances should the owner of the solar system interact with its components.
  • When exposed to light, photovoltaic (PV) arrays create electrical energy that cause a hazardous condition.


12. How long will it take to assemble the system?

Provided all authorisations required have been obtained, PV installations can be done quickly. A small 10 or 20 kW system can be installed within a week, while a larger, commercial or industrial system may take a few (4-8) weeks. 

13. What is the connection procedure?

The connection procedure consists of 4 different stages:

  1. The No Objection Certificate (NOC) stage
  2. The Design Approval stage
  3. The Inspection and Connection stage
  4. The Generation stage

Once you decide to invest in a Solar PV generator, it is recommended you hire a DEWA enrolled Electrical & DRRG Solar PV Consultant or Contractor (List of enrolled Solar PV Consultants & Contractors) that will act as your agent and will advise you on the best possible solution for your system.

During the first stage, the Consultant/Contractor will gather all necessary general information and will then submit the online PV connection application form (Apply for Solar PV Connection).

DEWA will carry out the application assessment and ensure all necessary documents have been submitted and all the criteria have been met. Upon successful completion of the assessment, DEWA will issue the No Objection Certificate (NOC).

In the second stage, your Consultant/Contractor should submit the online Application for Design Approval (Apply for Solar PV Connection). With this application a number of technical documents need to be submitted to DEWA, such as the site plans, system design plans and details of the proposed equipment, compliance with DEWA regulations.

Upon successful completion of the application assessment by DEWA, you will be informed of the connection fee. Once you have paid the connection fee, DEWA will begin the necessary network intervention in order to facilitate the connection process and you can begin the required construction and installation.

The third stage of the process begins once your PV equipment has been laid out. However, before you initiate any electrical work, your consultant/Contractor must perform Mechanical Completion with the concerned building Authority (i.e Dubai Municipality, Trakhees) to insure the layout is compliant with all the applicable safety regulations. Once this is completed, you may proceed with the necessary electrical work and installations.

After all the electrical work has been finalised, you will now need to perform the online Notification for Electrical inspection and Testing (Apply for Solar PV Connection) in order to complete the inspection of your plant and to proceed with the Connection. With this notification, you will also be required to submit a number of certificates, a signed Connection Agreement between you and DEWA and a number of other documents.For details, kindly refer to (DEWA DRRG Connection Guidelines)

Once DEWA finalises the assessment, meters will be installed.

The final stage begins once DEWA has installed the meters. If your plant is equal or bigger than 100 kilowatts you should request the online Performance Test Notification. Upon successful completion of the plant performance test, DEWA will begin to consider the energy generated by your plant.

You will also be required to submit the signed Connection Agreement with DEWA, which sets out the net metering arrangement and the responsibilities of both parties.

In addition, you will be required to present a signed Operation and Maintenance Contract as well as the Operation and Maintenance Manual provided by your Consultant and / or Contractor. . For more details please refer to (DEWA DRRG Connection Guidelines)

Snapshot of the Connection Process

14. Is there any limit to the size of the PV system that I can install?

As per the Connection Conditions (Publications & Resources) the capacity installed cannot exceed the maximum load allowed at your premises. Moreover, DEWA may impose a lower threshold should it be justified by technical limitations related to the integration of your PV system into the power distribution grid. 

15. How big a photovoltaic system do I need?

The size of solar PV system you need depends on several factors such as how much electricity you use, the size of your roof, and how much you're willing to invest. Also, you need to consider whether you want the system to supply your complete electricity usage, or only a part of that. In order to fully gain the financial benefits of the net metering scheme, you should install a system that, during its lifetime, produces at the most, the amount of electricity that you will be consuming over the same period.

You can contact an electrical Consultant that will help you determine what size and type of system would suit your needs. For a list of DEWA’s registered Consultants and Contractors, please visit the following link: (List of enrolled Solar PV Consultants & Contractors

16. What equipment is needed?

A PV system is made up of different components. These include:

  • Solar Panels Solar panels are the electricity-generating units of a PV system. Most solar panels have a life cycle of up to 25 years, but in some cases this can be longer. They are usually guaranteed by the manufacturer for a certain portion of the lifespan and they undergo a loss of performance over time. Therefore, guaranteed efficiency is provided by the manufacturer (e.g. usually 90 % after 10 years and 80 % after 25 years).
  • Inverter The Inverter converts the DC electricity produced by the solar panels into an alternating current (AC) that can be used directly in the house or injected into the DEWA network. The Inverter should be located in an airy, safe and accessible area and protected from direct solar radiation and water. The efficiency of the Inverter should be greater than 95 % with a general guarantee of 10 years.
  • Metering System To measure the electricity generated by the renewable generation unit and electricity consumed in the premises, two energy meters must be installed:
  • The first meter supplied and installed by DEWA measures the power generated by the photovoltaic system.
  • The second meter supplied and installed by DEWA measures the power exported to DEWA grid and the power imported from DEWA grid. During the connection process, the renewable generation unit will be inspected by DEWA before the metering system can be installed. The inspection ensures that the generation unit complies with DEWA safety regulations.
  • Interface protection. An automatic decoupling device (also called Interface Protection) should be installed between the inverter and the network connection point, if not yet incorporated in the inverter. This decoupling device stops the PV plant when a problem is detected on the network or when maintenance is needed. This prevents the current from being injected into the network or the electric loads within the premises when the electric power supply has been switched off for safety reasons.


17. Does this technology pose any security threat to my property/ family/ tenants/ employees?

DEWA has developed a set of strict regulations that govern the PV system installation process. In addition, DEWA has strict guidelines and other relevant specifications ensuring that only the safest and most reliable equipment is used in Dubai. Using a DEWA enrolled Electrical & DRRG Solar PV Contractor for the installation, operation and maintenance of your solar system will improve your safety.

Nevertheless, you should be aware that DEWA only provides the list of the enrolled Consultants and Contractors that have attended DEWA’s Solar PV Training Course and possess the necessary qualification and skill. However, DEWA will not be responsible for any professional or boundary advice or other professional technical guidance given by the Consultant/ Contractor or for any injuries, damage, loss, substandard designs, construction, building, installation, delays and for any negative consequences arising from the services delivered by the listed Consultants and Contractors.

WARNING:

  • All electrical installations, operation and maintenance should be done only by qualified solar PV electricians (DEWA enrolled Electrical & DRRG Solar PV consultants and contractors).
  • Under no circumstances should the owner of the solar system interact with its components.
  • When exposed to light, photovoltaic (PV) arrays create electrical energy that cause a hazardous condition.


18. Where can I buy solar panels?

We suggest you look for a DEWA enrolled Electrical & DRRG Solar PV Consultant or Contractor (List of enrolled Solar PV Consultants & Contractors) and eligible equipment supplier (List of Eligible Equipment). .

DEWA enrolled Electrical & DRRG Solar PV Consultants and Contractors will provide you with all the necessary information regarding your needs. Enrolled Electrical & DRRG Solar PV Consultants and Contractors have undergone the necessary training on DEWA equipment and installation regulations, and can propose to you a range of solar system solutions for your home or business. 

19. Are there any additional costs other than equipment, installation and maintenance fees?

A one-off connection fee will be charged by DEWA as part of the connection process. This will typically represent a small share of the overall project cost. 

20. What happens to my current electricity meter if I install a PV system?

If you have an old electromechanic meter it will be replaced by a bi-directional smart meter measuring not only the electricity that you will import from DEWA electricity grid, but also the electricity that you will export to DEWA grid. If a DEWA smart meter is already installed at your premises this change will not be required, as your meter will be already fit for the purpose.

A second smart meter will be installed by DEWA to measure the electricity generated by your PV system. 

21. Who bears the cost of the new meter?

The bi-directional smart meter measuring the electricity exported to and imported from DEWA electricity grid will be installed by DEWA without any additional cost to customers over the normal service charges.

The second meter, installed to measure the electricity generated by the PV system, will be charged by DEWA as part of the one-off connection fees. 

22. Can you provide a list of authorised consultants and contractors that can assemble my PV system?

For a list of DEWA enrolled Electrical & DRRG Solar PV Consultants or Contractors please go to: (List of Enrolled Solar PV Consultants & Contractors)

23. Are there any permits or approvals that I must obtain from other government bodies to complete the application process?

You will need a Building Permit from Dubai Municipality for the civil or structural part of the installation, and a Completion Certificate after the Municipality has inspected and completed its final checks. For buildings located in Free Zones, the competent Authority (e.g. Trakhees) should provide these documents. 

24. Can any company install, operate and maintain a solar panel technology for me, even if they are not enrolled?

Only DEWA enrolled Electrical & DRRG Solar PV Consultants and Contractors are authorised to install, operate and maintain your solar PV system. If you do not rely on an authorised contractor, your system will not be eligible for the grid connection and as such you will not be eligible to benefit from the Net Metering mechanism.

WARNING:

  • All electrical installations, operation and maintenance should be done only by qualified solar PV electricians (DEWA enrolled Electrical & DRRG Solar PV consultants and contractors).
  • Under no circumstances should the owner of the solar system interact with its components.
  • When exposed to light, photovoltaic (PV) arrays create electrical energy that cause a hazardous condition.


25. I own a residential building (or a commercial retail space) and would like to install a solar system for use by different tenants. Can you provide an applicable model that I can use?

Under current legislation it is not planned to offset electricity produced by a PV plant against electricity consumed by different customers. You can only offset electricity consumption of the common areas of the building (lighting, air-conditioning, elevators etc.) measured by the meters you own. Another option is for individual tenants to install solar systems for their own use (tied to their own accounts)

I ALREADY HAVE A SOLAR PV SYSTEM INSTALLED AT MY PREMISES:

26. I already use solar panels as on off-grid system and benefit from energy produced. Should I apply for connection to the grid?

If your off-grid system produces more electricity than you actually need and you don’t have an electricity storage system (or you have one but you want to get rid of it to avoid costly replacements or to free-up space), then connecting to the grid might be the best solution for you. Note that the system will need to comply with DEWA specifications in order to qualify for connection.

27. I have already installed solar panels and I am not sure if they are in line with your technical guidelines and standards. Whom should I contact for more information?

Please contact a DEWA enrolled Electrical & DRRG Solar PV Consultant or Contractor to have your system inspected. You will be guided on how to proceed.

Please refer to the DEWA list of enrolled Electrical & DRRG Solar PV Consultants or Contractors: LINK

28. The solar panels I have installed are not in line with DEWA technical guidelines, what should I do?

Please contact a DEWA enrolled Electrical & DRRG Solar PV Consultant or Contractor to have your system inspected. You will be guided on how to proceed.

29. In case of a fault, whom do I contact?

If there are issues with the PV system itself, such as those relating to substandard production output, please contact your Electrical & DRRG Solar PV consultant or Contractor. However, if you are experiencing issues with the meter or the billing, please contact DEWA. (Contact Us

WARNING:

  • All electrical installations, operation and maintenance should be done only by qualified solar PV electricians (DEWA enrolled Electrical & DRRG Solar PV consultants and contractors).
  • Under no circumstances should the owner of the solar system interact with its components.
  • When exposed to light, photovoltaic (PV) arrays create electrical energy that cause a hazardous condition.

For a list of DEWA enrolled Electrical & DRRG Solar PV Consultants or Contractors please go to: (List of Enrolled Solar PV Consultants & Contractors

Shams Dubai - Consultant and Contractors

1. My company is in the business of designing and installing solar PV systems. What should we know about equipment specifications and connection requirements? And how can we become a DEWA enrolled Electrical & DRRG Solar PV Consultant or Contractor?

For equipment specifications and connection technical requirements you can refer to the following documents on DEWA website Publications & Resources

The enrollment process is set out on DEWA website at the following link Enroll as DRRG Solar PV Consultant/Contractor

The application process to connect solar generators is set out on DEWA website at the following link Apply for Solar PV Connection

2. Why does DEWA require an enrolment process?

All companies that are involved in performing electrical activities and work need to be enrolled with DEWA. This process also aims to ensure that consultants and contractors have only qualified professionals engaged in solar PV related activities, thus ensuring both quality and safety.

Installing grid-connected Solar PV generators requires a rather advanced skill set and in order to ensure the highest level of safety and adherence to the required regulations and standards, it is important for these systems to be installed by professionals with adequate training and skills.

The enrollment Process will ensure that the Consultants and Contractors involved in the process have adequate skill and experience, thus providing a measure of protection for the public and for DEWA.

3. Are there any permits or approvals that I must obtain from other government bodies to complete the application process?

You will need a Building Permit from Dubai Municipality for the civil or structural part of the installation, and a Completion Certificate after the Municipality has inspected and completed its final checks. For buildings located in Free Zones, the competent Authority (e.g. Trakhees) should provide these documents.

4. How can my company apply for enrollment?

Consultant and Contractor companies will have to apply through DEWA e-services an enrollment request to be accepted as Electrical & DRRG Solar PV consultant or contractor.

5. What is the purpose of the Solar PV Expert Certification?

Installing and connecting Solar PV systems in the electricity Distribution Network is a complex task that has never before been carried out in Dubai. In order to ensure the highest level of safety and adherence to the required regulations and standards, it is important for these systems to be designed, constructed, installed and connected by professionals with adequate training and skills. Certification also provides a measure of protection to the Dubai public by giving them a credential for judging the competency of practitioners. It is not in any way intended to prevent qualified individuals from installing PV systems. It aims to ensure that individuals and companies involved in designing and connecting the Solar PV systems can perform this task in a safe and reliable manner, providing their clients with a high quality system that cannot compromise their safety and also the stability of the Dubai electricity network. 

6. What are the steps of the Certification?

The figure below provides an overview of the DEWA Certification steps and process. 



7. What does this certification process entail?

The certification process begins with the Training Application. During this stage, DEWA will check the Applicant’s credentials and determine whether the applicant is eligible for training. To be able to attend the training, the applicant needs to demonstrate the required minimum skill set. This ensures that the applicant has the right technical knowledge and experience to be able to follow the training.

Following the training, that consists of both classroom coursework and laboratory work, the Applicant will be required to take an exam.

Applicants that pass the exam will be provided with a Solar PV Expert Certificate. Depending on the amount of experience they have in installing Solar PV systems, the applicants will receive the certificate of either “Junior” or “Senior” PV Expert. 

8. How long does the training last?

The training will last 5 days. 

9. How much does the certification process cost?

The current training sessions are free of charge, however DEWA reserves the right to introduce an application fee for future training sessions. 

10. Can only individuals apply for the certification or can also companies apply?

The training is aimed at individual professionals. Once they pass their examination, these professionals will receive the DEWA Solar PV Expert Certification.

Consultants and Contractors Companies should nominate their professionals and apply for their certification. Companies wishing to be enrolled with DEWA and to apply for the connection of Solar PV plants need to have certified professionals in their team. This will allow them to apply for Solar PV Connection on behalf of their clients. For more information regarding this, please go to: Enroll as DRRG Solar PV Consultant/Contractor

11. Are the Consultants and Contractors already enrolled with DEWA required to apply for the Certification?

Already enrolled DEWA Electrical Consultants/Contractors should submit to DEWA the Solar PV certificates of the individuals on their team in order to be eligible to apply for the installation of PV systems as Electrical & DRRG Solar PV Consultants and Contractors on behalf of their clients.

Consultants/Contractors that have not been enrolled through the DEWA website must first enroll with DEWA as Electrical Consultant and Contractor. Subsequently they will need to provide Solar PV certificates of the individuals on their team in order to be eligible to apply for the installation of PV systems on behalf of their clients.

For information regarding the enrollment process, please go to the following link: Enroll as DRRG Solar PV Consultant/Contractor

12. How can I nominate employees for the DEWA PV training?

Companies wishing to nominate their employees and apply for the DEWA Solar PV Expert Certification Training, kindly visit the following page:Upcoming training sessions

13. What information and/ or documentation do I need to submit with the application?

Nominated Applicants may have none or insufficient experience in installing Solar PV systems. As such, after the training they can obtain the title of “Junior” PV Experts. Later, when they gain the needed experience in installing Solar PV systems, they will receive the qualification of “Senior” PV Experts.

However, applicants with sufficient experience in installing Solar PV systems may obtain the qualification of “Senior” PV Experts upon completion of the training and the examination.

14. When does the training take place?

The first training took place in December 2014. The training will be repeated at regular intervals in order to ensure fair access to all interested Consultants and Contractors. For more information regarding the training, including additional timings, kindly visit the following link: Upcoming training sessions

15. How long does the training last?

The training duration: 3 – 5 days. 

16. Who are the trainers?

The training is administered by DEWA and/or external consultants appointed by DEWA. 

17. Where does the training take place?

This will be confirmed and published in DEWA website Upcoming training sessions according to the number of registered and accepted participants. 

18. What is the content of the training?

The training comprises of both classroom course work and practice work. The content includes both technical aspects relating to the Solar PV installation process as well as safety issues. For more information please go to the following link: LINK

19. Will my nominated professional need further training after receiving the certification?

DEWA Solar PV Certification will be issued for a limited period of time. After the expiration of the validity of the Certificate, or soon before, your nominated professional will be required to attend a refresher course and re-sit the examination.

This process ensures that all Certificate holders are familiar with the latest technological advances, new regulations and other issues that may impact their work. 

WHAT WILL HAPPEN AFTER COMPLETING THE TRAINING?

20. Who issues the Certificate?

DEWA will issue the certificate to professionals that have gone through adequate training, passed the required examination and meet all other requirements. 

21. What benefit does the Certification provide to me?

Certification will provide you with a number of benefits. First of all, the certification will enable your company to enroll as Electrical & DRRG Solar PV Contractor/ Consultant which will ensure that your company can benefit from this growing demand. It will set you apart from the competition by broadening your expertise. This will allow you to perform the design, construction, building, installation, testing and the commissioning of a Solar PV plant in Dubai. As the grid connected Solar PV market expands, there will be a growing demand for this particular skill set.

In the long term, DEWA Solar PV training will be developed in line with the ISO/IEC 17024 standard. This will ensure that the Certification will be recognized worldwide. 

22. Is this certification valid in other countries too?

At present, DEWA Solar PV Expert Certification will only be valid in Dubai. However, DEWA is in the process of developing a wider training and certification scheme, which will provide the required capacity to meet the growing market demand for certification. In addition, DEWA will also ensure that through the adoption of ISO/ IEC 17024 standards, these certificates are recognized worldwide. 

23. Is the training in line with relevant International Standards such as the ISO/ IEC 17024?

At present, the training is not ISO/ IEC 17024 accredited. However, the training has been developed according to similar ISO/ IEC 17024 accredited programs. This does not only ensure the high quality of the training program, but will reduce the time required for the training to be ISO/ IEC 17024 accredited in the near future.






Shams Dubai - Equipment Manufacturers

1. My company imports solar panels to Dubai. What should we know about equipment specifications?

If you wish to have your equipment included in the DEWA list of eligible equipment, a formal request needs to be submitted to DEWA. A thorough evaluation of all standards and certification documents will ensure equipment is compliant with DEWA regulations and will then be included in the DEWA list of eligible equipment. This process ensures that the equipment meets the required DEWA quality and safety standards.

For more details and instructions please go to (Solar PV Equipment Eligibility)

You can also refer to the following documents on DEWA website (Publications & Resources)

2. If our company that manufacturers solar panels fails to obtain proof of the DEWA required Standards, can we continue selling and installing this technology in Dubai?

Not for systems to be connected to the DEWA electricity grid. Should you wish to install such grid-connected systems, your company needs to have proof of compliance to DEWA standards . Please refer to Equipment Eligibility details at the following link (Solar PV Equipment Eligibility)