ACWA Power, Synergy Consulting, Sterling & Wilson take top honours at 2017 Middle East Solar Industry Association Awards

Awards celebrate innovation and best practice across region’s solar energy industry

In the welcoming setting of the Aloft Hotel in Abu Dhabi and in partnership with the World Future Energy Summit, the Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA) unveiled the winners of the 2017 Middle East Solar Awards during a gala ceremony on January 18, 2017.

In total, there were nine trophies that were being contested across several sectors.

The Woman of the Year accolade went to Dr. Imen Gherboudj, Senior Research Scientist at the Research Center for Renewable Energy Mapping and Assessment, Masdar Institute. Dr. Gherboudj is presently leading a research work on assessing and modelling the impact of dust on solar irradiance attenuation and soiling losses on PV panels.

One of the most contested award, the Roof-Top Solar Project of the Year went to Relyon Solar for their project in Al Jurf Area of Ajman: A rooftop installation with a 600 KVAH storage. It is the first and the largest such installation in UAE commissioned in 2016 which can virtually run the complete manufacturing plant on either solar power and / or battery power.

An important US-based company entering the Middle East market also won an award. Array technology won the Solar System Innovation of the Year recognition for its DuraTrack HZ v3 Load Mitigation Technology. By utilizing this load mitigation feature, it presents a self-sufficient power plant technology. It is designed to operate mechanically and doesn’t require power cables, trenches, monitoring or human interaction to facilitate its function.

MESIA also put the spotlight on some dynamic and visionary young entrepreneurs. The Solar Entrepreneur of the Year award went to the CEO of Enerwhere: Daniel Zywietz. Daniel created Enerwhere, a Dubai-based solar company providing innovative solar hybrid solutions for the construction, oil and gas, mining, logistics and manufacturing sectors across the Middle East & Africa. Enerwhere provides solar-hybrid power on contracts as short as six months and with zero capital investment from the customer.

The Financial Advisor of the Year award went to Synergy Consulting IFA which is one of the leading financial advisors in the solar sector with 19 ongoing / completed deals in 2016 in MENA region. Among which the two most prestigious transactions of the year: Infinity 50 in Egypt (the first Solar PV deal in Egypt to be financed on non-recourse basis and DEWA Phase III in UAE.

Project of the Year award went to Sterling & Wilson for its 170 MW project in Morocco under Noor PV 1 Program. The evaluation criterions based on which Sterling & Wilson was adjudged winner included, degree of technological innovation, pioneering characteristic, uniqueness, economic, environment and society benefits and proof of innovation, among other factors.

Another highly contested award was the Regional Company of the Year. ACWA Power has been honored for its great and important achievement all over 2016: Noor-1 and Bokpoort (RSA) CSP projects became commercially operational, Noor-2 and Noor-3 CSP projects, and Shuaa PV which are under-construction, Mafraq PV (Jordan) achieved dry financial close and Noor PV1 which has been awarded.

The Solar Energy Picture of the Year went to a picture representing the Steam generation plant at RAM Pharma (Jordan) presented by Martin Haagen, business Development MENA for Industrial Solar.

Finally and to honor the Solar Expo 2017, jointly with the WFES organizer, the “most innovative technology on display” was also recognised. This new award went to DAS Energy. This Austrian company develops and produces non-glass photovoltaic modules. Due to module production based on woven fiberglass and silicon solar cells the modules are light, thin and flexible.

“The MESIA Solar Awards event recognises the companies and individuals who are instrumental in advancing the cause of solar and renewables in the region. On behalf of the MESIA board and our members, I congratulate these worthy winners and look forward to an even more exciting 2017,” said James Stewart, Vice-President of MESIA.

The awards selection was conducted by a panel of seven judges from around the world. They reviewed and evaluated around 60 applications coming from all over the five continents.

This annual gala ceremony, organized by MESIA in conjunction with the 2017 WFES, was attended by over 250 dignitaries, government officials and senior business executives from across the world.

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