The ‘Solar into Schools’ initiative is part of Shell’s ‘Gift to the Nation’ in which Shell committed to train small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and contract them to install solar systems into 22 schools across all governorates of the Sultanate in the coming few years.
The completed pilot schools include the Um Al Fadhil School in Nizwa, Sultan Qaboos School in Al Buraimi and Khawlah Bint Al-Hakeem School in Salalah.
Each school’s solar installation should reduce its grid-supplied electricity demand by at least 150 megawatt hours per year, which is approximately equivalent to the energy needed to power hundreds of residential homes in Oman each year. In addition, each solar school will reduce around 100 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.
To empower local businesses, Shell is contracting Omani SMEs to install the solar panels in the schools under this project. The project, therefore, not only helps contribute to Oman’s energy transition, but also helps build a platform for development and implementation of other small-scale solar projects in Oman.
H.E. Dr. Madiha bint Ahmed Al Shaibaniya, Minister of Education, said “The launch of the “Solar into Schools” initiative is part of the real partnership between the public and private sectors. This initiative is in line with the ministry's continuous efforts to benefit from the technical solutions offered by private sector institutions to implement the Government’s visions in searching for alternatives for renewable energy to save our environment. We are delighted that Shell has supported Oman's efforts to transform solar energy in a sustainable way through this initiative, through which comes the installation of solar photovoltaic systems for 22 public school buildings in different governorates of the Sultanate for a period of five years. Four schools have been launched in the governorates of Muscat, Buraimi, Dhofar and the Dhakhiliya, which we are celebrating today the launch of the project in it. In the coming year, the project will be launched in Al-Batinah North and in Al-Batinah Shouth.”
H.E. stated, “The importance of the project is to use renewable energy from the local environment to reduce gas emissions and harmful components to the environment, and to instill in the curriculum with the importance and benefits of exploiting local renewable resources such as solar energy through the preparation of practical training packages for students. A number of technicians and engineers were trained in the installation and maintenance of photovoltaic cells, and other courses will be developed to include all workers in the energy sector.”
H.E. also added, “The implementation of this initiative in a number of schools in the Sultanate is linked to enhancing students' scientific knowledge of the concept of sustainable development and related development aspects, and how to apply them in their surrounding society. They will undoubtedly contribute to raising awareness about alternative sources of energy in the Sultanate in terms of sources and uses, how to rationalize consumption, and types of solar stations. It will also inspire students' imagination in evaluating simple home practices and behaviors that lead to conservation of energy and other aspects.”