The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, welcomed First Solar, Inc. [NASDAQ: FSLR] into the KAUST New Energy Oasis (NEO) program. NEO is a platform for introducing new and advanced technology to Saudi Arabia in the area of clean, alternative energy.
First Solar, the global leader in thin-film photovoltaic (PV) systems, donated a complete 3.2 kWp photovoltaic system including 40 solar modules, a ground-based mounting structure, an inverter and state-of-the-art weather-forecasting and performance-measuring equipment for the project.
KAUST and First Solar will work together to test the PV system under the extreme weather conditions of the Red Sea Coast, where summer daytime temperatures regularly reach 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit). The University is approximately 80 kilometers north of Jeddah.
Dr. Raed Bkayrat, Head of the KAUST Technology Application and Advancement Group, welcomed the cooperation: "By providing platforms for testing and demonstrating PV technologies from leading companies such as First Solar, we can thoroughly test clean alternatives to traditional energy sources and ensure the best suitability to Saudi Arabian conditions."
James Brown, Executive Vice President of First Solar, welcomed the opportunity to demonstrate the company's integrated solar systems technologies in Saudi Arabia. "We are pleased with the opportunity to be able to contribute to the vision of Saudi leaders under King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and to help the country achieve its goals of harvesting the abundant energy of the sun," he said. "Supporting the NEO program enables us to showcase our capabilities in this important market, which has tremendous potential for sustainable solar power generation."