The prominent seven-member jury, with representatives from Kuwait, Oman, Egypt, Jordan and host country, the UAE selected awards in 12 categories. The first category involved the solar entrepreneur of the year, which was awarded to Bikesh Ogra, President & CEO, Renewable Energy Business, Sterling & Wilson. Sterling & Wilson has become the world’s largest EPC and is involved in leading projects across the Middle East.
The Jordan Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Fund captured the Solar Rooftop Project of the Year award for its work in placing solar energy systems in 100 schools. Turning to large-scale projects, Marubeni won the Large Scale Solar Project of the Year for its record-setting 1,177 MW Sweihan Photovoltaic Project developed under consortium with China’s JinkoSolar and the world’s largest single-location PV power plant, located around 100 km southeast of Abu Dhabi.
SMA Middle East Limited was an award winner in the Storage Project of the Year category for a hybrid PV-diesel power generation plant in Bolivia. This plant not only involves a 5 MWp PV system and a 12 MW Genset plant, but also a 2.2 MW Li-ion battery storage component.
The “Advisor of the Year” award went to Synergy Consulting Infrastructure and Financial Advisory Services Inc. One of its many recent transactions included the setup of Egypt’s latest Round 2 FIT program.
Huawei’s ability to incorporate cutting-edge ICT technology into its Smart PV solutions earned it the top spot in the category “Most Innovative Technology on Display at Solar Expo 2018”.
Enerwhere’s off-grid solar-hybrid system at Zaya Nurai’s five-star island resort in Abu Dhabi made it the winner of the “Hybrid Project of the Year” award, while SMA Middle East Limited made it to the award winner’s podium a second time with its new Sunny Tripower CORE1, the world’s first standing PV inverter optimized for usage with commercial rooftops.
On the CSP side, Al-Babtain Power & Telecommunication Co. received the “Solar Value Chain Champion of the Year” award, and Karachi-based K-Electric garnered the top spot in the category “Corporate Solar Sustainability Program of the Year.” K-Electric is the electric utility for the city of Karachi and has been a big supporter of solar energy adoption.
I presented the “Solar Energy Picture of the Year” award to Ghadir Shaar for his beautiful photograph of Mohammed Bin Rashid Solar Park as the sun was rising in Dubai and, finally, Hadi Tahboub, previous President of MESIA, received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his important contribution to the solar energy industry in the Middle East.