Saudi Agriculture Sector Evaluating Solar-Diesel Hybrids


Saudi Arabia's poultry industry and other agriculture sectors are evaluating diesel-solar hybrid power systems as alternatives to the purely fossil-fueled generators they currently rely on.

The assessment comes from a conference organized by the Saudi Arabia Solar Industry Association (SASIA) this week.

‘Hybrid solar-diesel systems are a viable solution to provide power to Saudi Arabia's poultry producers, many of which are not connected to the national electric grid,’ says Abdulmohsen Al Shoaibi, managing partner of DarSolar, a Saudi Arabia-based solar engineering firm. ‘Such solutions can help reduce the industry's heavy reliance on diesel fuel.’

As a result of the heavy dependence on diesel fuel, Saudi poultry companies are incurring notably higher energy costs than Brazilian producers, which accounted for nearly 79% of the kingdom's poultry import in 2012.

Dar Solar is currently examining a solar-hybrid solution for a hatchery that consumes 900,000 liters of diesel annually through four generators. The solar hybrid solution would likely include the combination of existing generators with PV panels and potentially battery storage, Al Shoaibi says.

‘Hybrid solar-diesel systems can help local poultry producers remain competitive against imports by ensuring an affordable and reliable source of power to cool their poultry houses,’ says Browning Rockwell, executive director of the SASIA.

For more information on how existing conventional energy sources can be bolstered by solar power and storage, visit the Hybrid Energy Innovations event website here.

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