Today, the Ministry of Energy and Water launched the Beirut River Solar Snake through the Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation (L.C.E.C).
As shown in the first picture above, the idea behind the Beirut River Solar Snake is to cover the concrete structure, around 6 meter above river level, with solar panels and to generate, as a start, 1MW which will be linked to the grid via an inverter. The river will be covered with 20,000m2 of solar panel space in the first phase.
The final goal is to generate 10MW and in order to do so, 6.5km will be covered with solar panels. The money generated from phase 1 will be reinvested in the project to add more solar panels.
The maximum budget is set to a maximum of $4 million. But this cost is projected to decrease knowing that similar projects in Jordan cost around $2.3 million without taking into consideration the cost incurred by the structure.
Also, the company implementing the Beirut River Solar Snake project will be required to have previous experience in the field and will have to partner with a civil engineering company. In addition, a technical committee of engineers will have the responsibility to evaluate the performance of the project.
Moreover, the French Embassy will provide Lebanon with a solar panel testing platform which will serve as a lab. This will also have educational purposes for all parties concerned including students. I see it as a mean to involve the population.
The pre-qualification bid announcement for the Beirut River Solar Snake project will take place on 23 April 2013.
Beirut River Solar Snake is the first solar farm in Lebanon.
Due to real estate prices in Beirut, the river, was considered as the best location to host the solar panels. As far as other rivers are concerned it is unlikely that this idea with be replicated since Beirut river is the only flat river Lebanon has according to the L.C.E.C.
Lebanon is going for renewable energy. Wind, water and now solar. What do you think?
For more information about the L.C.E.C activities, you can: