According to Amin bin Abdulqader Naebalharam, deputy mayor for municipal investment development and chairman of the Solar Energy Committee, Makkah Municipality has invited bids from developers and investors to provide the city with 30,000 to 40,000 street light poles powered by solar energy,
Arab News was told by officials that an experimental first stage installation of the solar-powered street lighting system would begin in four months and take about one year to complete.
This initial phase will cover a total area of around 4.3km² constituting three of nine parts of the Crown Prince Plan 9 and, if successful, will see the system rolled out across the city.
Makkah’s streets would then require around 150,000 solar-powered light poles installed covering a 180km², with developers required to use such lighting systems if the experiment is successful.
“We expect to receive good offers as the cost for providing electricity generated by solar energy is decreasing every day. This also applies to equipment and the efficiency of equipment used for that purpose which are in constant improvement and development. In the long-term, we hope that we reduce cost and improve quality,” Abdulqader Naebalharam said.
He added that the project would also contribute to reducing costs for companies providing street lighting equipment, in addition to cables, fittings and other requirements, especially in remote areas.
Solar-powered street lights operate by absorbing and storing the sun’s energy during the day and converting it to electric light at night time.