A large-scale solar panel installation project has begun on the Sinamalé Bridge.
The initiative comes under the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Technology’s Accelerating Sustainable Private Investment in Renewable Energy (ASPIRE) project, which is funded by the World Bank.
During the ceremony held on Wednesday to officiate the installation, the Minister of Environment Aminath Shauna and World Bank’s South Asia region’s Vice President Martin Reiss installed the first set of solar panels.
The solar panels will be placed on the 'island area' in the middle of the bridge that connects Malé and Hulhumalé islands. The project was contracted to Thailand based Ensis Co Limited in November 2020.
The solar panel initiative will harness 7.3 million units of electricity annually. This will estimately save between MVR 15 to 20 million from state expenditures.
The contractor had developed special steel structures along the link road and by the shore line to hold the panels in place. Major works of the project is expected to complete by the end of the first quarter of 2023.
This marks the first large-scale solar panel installation initiative carried out in the Maldives.
Reiss, at the installation ceremony, emphasised the importance of establishing a large-scale renewable energy project in the Maldives, which is already vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
Senior officials from the environment ministry, World Bank, State Electric Company (STELCO) and Hulhumalé Development Corporation Ltd (HDC) also took part in the ceremony.