UK-based solar asset management firm PassivSystems is to consult with Oman’s Authority for Electricity Regulation (AER) on a project to install rooftop solar PV systems on more than 30 per cent of the Sultanate’s residential buildings.

Under the government’s ‘Sahim’ scheme, homeowners will be offered a funded ownership model involving minimal capital outlay as a long-term financial incentive to install rooftop PV. Private investors will provide the capital to fund the AER-led project.  

The scheme is planned to help mitigate high demand at midday peak times when air conditioning is in use in most homes, allowing AER to defer grid upgrades.  

Between 1000 and 3000 homes are planned to be fitted with rooftop PV panels during a pilot stage, with plans to scale up to include more than a quarter of a million rooftops.

During the project’s initial phase, PassivSystems said it is assisting AER to identify and manage risks, draw up requests for proposals, analyze legal models and refine the customer proposition.

“This is an exciting, ambitious initiative and I applaud the Sultanate for embracing renewable energy on such a broad scale,” said Colin Calder, PassivSystems CEO.

“We will be working closely with the AER to ensure that this project moves forward from a vision to a reality based on a sound financial model.”

On the Sahim scheme’s inauguration last year, AER director Qais Saud Al Zakwani called it “an initiative of tremendous national significance” and said it would “help us reduce our dependence on traditional sources of energy, such as diesel and gas, allowing us to direct these valuable resources to other projects that will benefit the long-term sustainability of the Sultanate.”

He added that the scheme was “also of great value for residents and commercial organizations, because this will help them in becoming self-sustaining”.